Athletics 3, Rangers 2

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ARLINGTON, Texas – Nick Swisher and Eric Chavez hit back-to-back home runs in the sixth, and Joe Blanton pitched six solid innings to help the Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 3-2 on Monday night.

Swisher homered for the third straight game – a two-run shot off Texas reliever C.J. Wilson (1-1).

It was Swisher’s ninth homer of the season and gave Oakland a 2-1 lead. Chavez hit his eighth two pitches later off Wilson.

Kevin Mench, who was 3-for-4, hit his fourth home run and added an RBI single for Texas. He has homered in four consecutive games.

Oakland, which left 10 men on base before the sixth inning, had lost nine of 12. Texas saw its four-game winning streak end.

Blanton (2-2) allowed two runs and eight hits in six innings. He struck out two and walked one.

After the Rangers closed within 3-2 on Mench’s run-scoring single, Brad Wilkerson singled to move Mench to third with one out in the sixth.

But Blanton, who had given up 14 runs over his last two starts, escaped trouble when Rod Barajas bounced into an inning-ending double play.

Justin Duchscherer pitched a scoreless ninth for his first save in two chances.

Oakland closer Huston Street (strained right pectoral muscle) hasn’t pitched since April 18 and isn’t expected back before Wednesday.

Texas starter Kevin Millwood pitched five shutout innings, but he struggled with his control. He walked six batters and got out of bases-loaded trouble in the third and fourth.

He allowed four hits and struck out four.

Wilson relieved Millwood and retired the first two batters in the sixth before walking Mark Kotsay. That set up the heroics from Swisher and Chavez, who have combined to hit 17 of Oakland’s 27 home runs.

Mench’s solo shot in the second – his fourth of the season – gave Texas a 1-0 lead. He has 13 RBIs over the past five games.

Notes: Chavez set the A’s all-time franchise record with his 192nd homer as a third baseman. He had shared the mark with Sal Bando. … Mench is one shy of tying the club record for consecutive games with a home run. Carl Everett (April 14-20, 2003), Alex Rodriguez (Aug. 17-21, 2003) and Mark Teixeira (July 11-19, 2004) hold the mark with five. … Oakland SS Bobby Crosby (strained right triceps) did not play for the third straight game.

AP-ES-04-24-06 2308EDT

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