ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers have mastered the 1-0 loss with Yu Darvish on the mound. They did it again on Saturday afternoon, getting shutout against the A's after Darvish allowed a first-inning run.
AL West race: The Rangers fell 5½ games behind Oakland with 15 games to play. Texas was six games behind Oakland on July 29 and rallied to take a three-game lead in the division. But this time, there's a long way to go and a lot less time.
Another 1-0 loss: This is getting ridiculous. Darvish lost a 1-0 game for the fourth time this season, the most in the American League since the designated hitter era was implemented in 1973. Darvish joins Walter Johnson and Billy Pierce as the only AL pitchers to lose four 1-0 games in a season. Orel Hershiser lost four games by a 1-0 score in 1989 in the National League for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Strikeout machine: Darvish made it 12 times this season that he has reached double digits in strikeouts. He had 10 Ks in seven innings Saturday, including strikeouts of Daric Barton and Josh Reddick in the seventh inning.
Too much Colon: Bartolo Colon beat the Rangers for the 20th time, the most against any opponent for his career. Colon scattered seven hits and strick out seven. The Rangers' best chance against him came in the bottom of the fourth. With two outs, A.J. Pierzynski had a single and Geovany Soto followed with a double into the left-field corner. Pierzynski was forced to hold up at third base, and Mitch Moreland then struck out on three pitches, all out of the strike zone.
First-inning run: The Rangers don't score first-inning runs, but their opponents do. Oakland took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Darvish walked Josh Donaldson with one out. After Jed Lowrie struck out, Brandon Moss ripped a double down the right-field line that scored Donaldson from first base. The Rangers have been outscored 75-44 in the first inning.
Moreland's slump: Moreland saw 10 pitches in his first three at-bats and struck out three times. He did walk with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but pinch runner Jim Adduci was stranded as the tying run as David Murphy struck out looking. Moreland is hitless in his last 21 at-bats with 14 strikeouts. It will be interesting to see if Moreland is back in the starting lineup Sunday with another right-hander, Jarrod Parker, going for the A's.
Up next: The Rangers and Oakland will wrap up a three-game series Sunday afternoon with rookie left-hander Martin Perez (9-4, 3.60 ERA) facing Parker (11-6, 3.55) at 2:05 p.m. on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and Deportes 1540 AM.