ARLINGTON -- On a balmy night in Arlington, lefty Brett Anderson fell apart, and the skies followed suit.
Anderson's string of messy starts against the Rangers potentially appeared to take a turn for the better through three scoreless innings, but the southpaw surrendered four runs thereafter and ultimately found himself on the hook for a 7-2 loss to Texas.
A downpour and a loud clap of thunder forced a 59-minute delay with one out in the sixth inning -- just minutes after Cliff Pennington homered off Texas righty Colby Lewis in the form of a solo shot to right field.
But the break proved to be no help for a sluggish A's team that managed just five hits, only magnifying Anderson's struggles with Texas, against which he has a 6.62 ERA.
"It's weird. It's just one of those teams that has your number," Anderson said. "It's unfortunate, because they're in our division, so you have to face them more times than other teams."
This time didn't prove as troubled from the start, as Anderson struck out five over the first two innings while stranding three. A quick third frame had him thinking that perhaps he'd turned the corner against the Rangers.
It was wishful thinking, though. In the fourth, Anderson surrendered back-to-back hits to Michael Young and Mitch Moreland before recording an out, and walked the next two batters to send home a run and hand Texas a one-run lead.
"He was fighting himself a little bit, holding on to the ball tight," manager Bob Geren said.
The Rangers increased their lead on Craig Gentry's RBI single, and Anderson escaped the frame before further damage was done.
"It was all over the place," he said. "To limit the damage to two runs there, I felt like I did a pretty good job of correcting it."
Until the fifth inning.
Young hit a one-out double off Anderson and, after a Moreland flyout, Adrian Beltre launched a fastball down the middle to left-center for a two-run homer, extending the Rangers' lead.
"Today I had pretty good stuff early on and made some good pitches to get outs when I needed," Anderson said. "The fourth inning came, and I felt like I was throwing a wet cue ball -- just no control of where it's going. I had to harness it a bit, I kept us in the game, and then I made a terrible pitch to Beltre to open it up."
Beltre's long ball signaled the end for Anderson, who was tagged with four runs on six hits and four walks while dropping to 2-3 on the season and 1-4 lifetime against Texas.
Anderson has walked just 12 all season, but eight of those have come against the Rangers. The previous four were issued two starts ago, in Oakland on April 30, when the Rangers recorded seven runs and nine hits off the southpaw, who deemed the outing his worst since high school.
Tuesday's performance wasn't quite teenage-esque, but it wasn't pretty, either.
"I'm not making any excuses," he said. "I just don't pitch good against the Rangers."
Anderson potentially won't have to face the Rangers again until July, when the A's play a three-game set in Texas before the All-Star break.
"The Rangers aren't my favorite team to face, that's for sure," he said. "I already looked at the calendar. I have a couple of months to get away from them a bit."
Anderson was relieved by David Purcey, who served up consecutive hits to David Murphy and Mike Napoli, the latter making it 5-0 before Pennington's shot in the sixth -- his third of the season -- put the A's on the board.
A's lefty Jerry Blevins didn't fare much better, giving up a two-run triple in the sixth to Young, who fell a home run shy of the cycle.
Lewis, meanwhile, went 7 1/3 innings and breezed through an A's lineup that, just one night prior, posted seven runs but just four hits against Texas ace C.J. Wilson.
"Fastball location, that's it," Lewis said of his success on Tuesday. "That's the biggest thing. I knew against them I had to pound the strike zone."
"[Lewis] wasn't necessarily perfectly sharp, but he seemed to lose command in that one inning," Geren said. "He had real good command but wasn't throwing very hard. We had some over the middle of the plate, and our timing was a bit off. His stuff didn't look necessarily special at all, especially when he came back after the rain delay. He looked even more hittable."
Mark Ellis, who went 0-for-4, didn't downplay Lewis' night.
"We had chances, hit some balls hard and they didn't fall," Ellis said. "We just didn't get it done tonight. We only scored one run against him, so it's hard to say anything bad about the pitcher. We just didn't do anything."
Oakland's second and final run came in the ninth, when Ryan Sweeney reached base courtesy of a Beltre error at third and scored on Conor Jackson's sacrifice fly.