The second-place Rangers went more than a month without gaining ground on the American League West-leading A's. But with four consecutive wins, Texas now has cut into Oakland's advantage for three straight days.
The Rangers have a chance to creep closer to the A's this weekend, as the division rivals open a three-game series on Friday at O.co Coliseum.
The A's have won seven of their last 11 games, while the Rangers are riding consecutive victories for the first time in more than three weeks. Their win over the D-backs in Thursday's makeup game drew them to within 3 1/2 games of the idle A's.
"It's important because they're in first place," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of the upcoming series, one of three remaining on the teams' schedules. "It's not do or die. If we go out there and play our game, we'll take care of business."
While the Rangers were unable to get a bat to go along with recently acquired right-hander Matt Garza before Wednesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, the A's added infielder Alberto Callaspo on Tuesday from the Angels. Although Callaspo isn't a game-changer, the 30-year-old fits in Oakland's lineup nicely as a platoon mate with Eric Sogard at second base.
Callaspo played third base in Anaheim, but the A's have no worries about Callaspo defensively at second.
"Because that's his natural position, that's where he started out," A's manager Bob Melvin said about why he feels confident with Callaspo at second. "Now there is some uncertainty, obviously, because he hasn't played there a couple years, but he's always been a sure-handed defender. My talk with him this morning was that it doesn't matter where we play him."
The Rangers begin this key weekend series with right-hander Alexi Ogando making his third start since returning from the disabled list. Ogando missed six weeks with shoulder inflammation but said his arm feels strong -- though he's yet to pitch more than five innings since coming back.
Ogando will be opposed by left-hander Tommy Milone, who tossed seven innings of one-run ball and struck out six in his last start against the Angels. Milone owns a 2.97 ERA in his nine home starts, compared with 5.00 in 12 road outings.
Rangers: Walk it off
Before Monday, the Rangers hadn't experienced a walk-off home run in more than a year. They then proceeded to launch walk-off blasts on three consecutive days, becoming the fifth team to accomplish that feat in Major League history. Geovany Soto played the hero Monday, Leonys Martin following suit Tuesday, and Adrian Beltre capped the run on Wednesday.
The only other team to pull that off while sweeping a three-game series was the 1999 D-backs.
• Shortstop Elvis Andrus owns the longest active hitting streak in the Majors at 14 games, although only three of those have been multi-hit efforts. Andrus is 17-for-51 (.333) with four doubles and seven walks during the streak.
A's: Reddick held out Wednesday
Outfielder Josh Reddick was held out of the A's lineup Wednesday after taking a knee to the right side of his head in a three-player collision the night before.
"He came in today with a little bit of a headache, and that's why I scratched him," Melvin said. "We don't feel it's concussion symptoms, but anytime someone comes in with a headache after being hit on the head, you want to be careful with that."
• The A's have posted eight consecutive winning months dating back to last June.
• Oakland's Jed Lowrie is hitting .414 with six RBIs through the first seven games of the club's 10-game homestand.
• The Rangers' Tuesday night extra-inning victory was only the club's second of the season. They are 2-7 in such contests.