ARLINGTON, Texas -- On a given night, the team with the worst record in the major leagues can beat the team with the best record.
Texas, winless at home since June 28, snapped an eight-game home losing streak.
Neftali Feliz, back in the closer's role following the trade of Joakim Soria, nailed it down in the ninth with his first save of the season. But not before Oakland put two aboard and had the potential tying run at the plate.
A few observations:
Surprise, surprise: The combination of Jerome Williams' untidy pitching stats this season and the Athletics’ high-scoring offense might lead one to believe maybe Friday’s game should have been promoted as “cover-your-eyes blindfold night."
Not the case at all. The 32-year-old right-hander cut loose by the Astros on July 8 pitched superbly, retiring 11 in a row at one point.
Williams gave Rangers manager Ron Washington six strong innings. He did not issue a walk and allowed just one run on five hits. At the very least, Williams put himself in consideration for another start.
Long overdue: J.P. Arencibia staked the Rangers to a 1-0 lead with an RBI single to left in the second inning. Since scoring three runs in the sixth inning of a 4-2 victory over the Yankees on Monday, the Rangers came into the Friday’s game with 24 hits, two of which were solo homers by Arencibia. Of the team's other 22 hits, only one produced an RBI -- that a bloop single by Elvis Andrus in Thursday’s 4-2 loss to the Yankees.
Maybe clutch hitting is contagious. In the third, Alex Rios followed up Andrus’ two-out triple with an RBI single for a 2-0 lead.
Well placed: Adrian Beltre backed Athletics left fielder Brandon Moss to the wall to haul down his 380-foot drive in the first inning with a teammate aboard. In the sixth, Beltre looped one about half the distance into center field for an RBI single to increase the Rangers' lead to 3-1. An errant throw to the plate by Athletics center fielder Yoenis Cespedes set up a fourth Texas run on Jim Adduci's sacrifice fly.
One-game series, anyone? All three Rangers wins since the All-Star break have come in series openers.
Mendez firing: Rangers reliever Roman Mendez, appearing in his seventh major league game on Friday, still has not allowed a run after retiring Josh Donaldson and Derek Norris on pop-ups in the seventh inning. His scoreless string now covers 10 innings.
Defensive gems: A sliding catch by center fielder Leonys Martin took a hit away from John Jaso in the third inning. ... Beltre’s slick pickup of a one-hop throw from left fielder Adduci erased Jaso, attempting to go from first to third on a single to left. ... Rougned Odor turned in an alert play on the game's final out, recovering to get the ball to Feliz covering first.
Up next: The Rangers and Athletics meet in the second game of the series set for 7:05 p.m. Saturday at Globe Life Park with Texas right-hander Nick Tepesch (3-6, 4.87 ERA) going against Oakland right-hander Sonny Gray (11-3, 2.72 ERA) on ESPN 103.3 FM and Fox Sports Southwest.