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TEX@OAK: Matsui's RBI single ties it in the sixth

OAKLAND -- Andrew Bailey was just as frustrated walking Mitch Moreland as he was with giving up the go-ahead hit to David Murphy. The stolen base was just another distraction.

Brandon Allen had three hits, including his first RBI in an Oakland uniform, as the Athletics recovered from a six-run deficit only to see it slip away again. The Texas Rangers completed a three-game sweep of the A's with a 7-6 victory on Sunday.

"I can't put a guy on in that situation," said the A's closer, who made his first appearance in five days. "This was a tough one to lose because the team battled back and picked us up."

The Rangers sent Craig Gentry -- whose steal of second base proved vital -- to run for Moreland in the top of the ninth. Bailey understood what was at stake.

"One of his jobs is to come in and steal a base every now and then," Bailey said. "I wanted to keep him close, but once I got two strikes on Murphy, I wanted to get the hitter and not worry about the runner so much. If I execute that pitch, it's a different story."

Gentry scored standing up on Murphy's ground-ball single up the middle, handing the A's yet another disappointing loss. The Rangers have beaten Oakland eight straight and swept them at home for the first time since May 2005.

"They just seem to have our number," Bailey said. "It just seems like we play our worst ball against them."

It was a miserable series for the Oakland defense, which committed seven errors over the three games. The A's have made 99 errors on the season, most in the Major Leagues. It well could have been 100, but the official scorekeeper graciously changed an error he called on Cliff Pennington to a hit a few seconds later.

A's manager Bob Melvin hopes the late rally will spill over into the three-game series with the visiting Baltimore Orioles, which begins Monday night.

"There we were, down 6-0 and not playing very well again," Melvin said. "We were really, kind of, at our worst. Then to pick ourselves up again and dig ourselves out of that hole was encouraging. I felt the mojo starting to change."

Instead, the Rangers separated themselves a little more from the Los Angeles Angels, who they play a four-game series in Anaheim beginning Monday night.

"We were in a situation that's tough to do and that's try to sweep a team," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "They were in a situation that's desperate, and they were fighting hard. You get up 6-0, you think they would lay down, but they didn't. Bob Melvin is not going to let that happen."

The Rangers got to A's starter Rich Harden for three runs in the first inning and added another run against him in the fourth.

Texas added two unearned runs against Bruce Billings, who made his Oakland debut in the fifth.

"The issue today was not consistently throwing my fastball for strikes," Harden said. "I wasn't getting hit hard or making a lot of mistakes."

Harden, who walked in two runs, gave up four runs on five hits. He hit a batter, walked five and struck out four. Harden has allowed nine runs on 13 hits in his nine innings (two starts) against the Rangers this season.

A's pitchers have walked home a run an American League-leading 14 times, which matches the San Diego Padres for most in the Majors.

Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler bolstered the A's chances when he misplayed a grounder that cost two runs in the fifth.

Sizemore's double leading off the sixth sparked the game-tying rally. Kurt Suzuki singled to drive in Sizemore, and Allen followed with an RBI double. Jemile Weeks and Hideki Matsui each singled home a run to draw the A's even.

Allen was in the lineup because Conor Jackson was scratched with a tight neck.

"I take batting practice like I might pinch-hit," Allen said. "I just always have to be ready. If I get a chance, I want to be able to help the team."

Melvin said Allen would be back in the lineup again Monday night.

Rangers' starter Matt Harrison went 5 1/3 innings, giving up six runs (four earned) on six hits. He walked three and struck out six. Comments