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Saturday, Apr. 14 4:05pm ET
A's lose sixth straight

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – The Oakland Athletics have helped Alex Rodriguez get his groove back.

Alex Rodriguez
Alex Rodriguez strokes a ninth-inning single to score teammate Chad Curtis with the game-winning run.

Rodriguez homered and had six RBIs, including the go-ahead run in the ninth inning, as the Texas Rangers beat the Athletics 9-8 on Saturday for Oakland's sixth straight loss.

A-Rod, who signed a 10-year, $252 million contract with Texas in the offseason, went 3-for-5 Saturday and is 4-for-7 with eight RBIs in two games against the A's. His average has jumped from .297 to .341.

"For some reason, I didn't have good first weeks. Part of it is getting to know new teammates and part is we didn't finish the spring like we wanted," he said. "Now we're in the regular season and we're finally into a routine. I feel like I'm getting my groove back."

With the score tied at 8, Rodriguez singled up the middle off Jim Mecir (0-3) to drive in Chad Curtis.

"I just tried to put the ball in play," Rodriguez said. "(Mecir) made a good pitch and I was fortunate enough to stay inside of it."

The A's had erased an 8-2 deficit by tying it with a three-run eighth inning. Johnny Damon's two-run double off Mike Venafro got Oakland within one, before Miguel Tejada's single off Jeff Zimmerman scored Damon.

Zimmerman (1-1), who faced two batters, earned the win. Tim Crabtree pitched the ninth for his fourth save and the Rangers evened their record at 6-6.

The A's, last year's AL West champions, dropped to 2-9 -- their worst start since opening at 2-10 in 1998.

"That was a little frustrating," A's manager Art Howe said. "But I'm proud of the way the guys played.

With Texas leading 3-0, Rodriguez capped a five-run fourth inning with his second homer of the season. The three-run homer, his second in as many days, to left field came on a 3-0 pitch from A's starter Barry Zito.

Doug Mirabelli hit a two-run homer earlier in the same inning, which ended when Ivan Rodriguez struck out and was ejected by plate umpire Laz Diaz for arguing the call.

In the bottom half of the fourth, last season's AL MVP Jason Giambi hit his first home run, a solo shot into the left-field bleachers. One out later, Chad Curtis misplayed Terrence Long's single and Adam Piatt scored to narrow it to 8-2.

Texas starter Kenny Rogers allowed five runs on nine hits over 6 1-3 innings and kept his undefeated run at the Coliseum alive with the no-decision.

Rogers has not lost at the Coliseum in 31 games, including 30 as a starter, since Aug. 7, 1994, when he was previously with the Rangers. He was 15-0 while playing for the Athletics in 1998-99.

Zito, who stayed in because the A's have exhausted their bullpen, went six innings, allowed eight runs -- seven earned -- on eight hits. He struck out nine and walked two.

Bo Porter hit an RBI double off Zito in the second. Rodriguez added a two-run single to left in the third.

Ramon Hernandez hit an RBI double for the A's in the sixth and Miguel Tejada added a solo homer in the seventh. It was the 10,000th home run in franchise history, making the A's the eighth club to reach the plateau.

Giambi also scored in the seventh on Mario Valdez's grounder to first.

Game notes
The A's recalled RHP Luis Vizcaino from Triple-A Sacramento and optioned OF Ryan Christenson to Triple-A Sacramento. Vizcaino relieved Zito on Saturday ... The Rangers' 13-1 victory Friday night was their largest winning margin since beating the Angels 18-4 on June 30, 1999. ... The Rangers have not allowed an unearned run in their first 12 games. The Rangers allowed a major league-high 98 unearned runs in 2000. ... Scott Sheldon stole the first base of his career in the fourth.

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