OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Eric Chavez, Frank Thomas and Milton Bradley homered on three straight pitches in the sixth inning, and the Oakland Athletics snapped a four-game losing streak with a 5-4 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday.

Chavez led off the inning with a shot into the right-field seats, Thomas followed with his 451st career homer and third of the year, then Bradley connected to chase starter Vicente Padilla.

The last time a team homered on three straight pitches was Sept. 29, 2001, when Fred McGriff, Rondell White and Todd Hundley did it for the Cubs against Houston’s Dave Mlicki at Wrigley Field, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

It marked the eighth time the A’s have hit three straight homers and the first time since June 23, 2000, against Kansas City – when Randy Velarde, Jason Giambi and Ben Grieve accomplished the feat.

The home runs came minutes after Phil Nevin had given Texas the lead with a three-run homer off Rich Harden, who won despite not having his best stuff.

Nick Swisher added a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth for the A’s, who returned to .500 at 6-6 for the same mark they had at this time in 2005.

Padilla (2-1) was trying to win his first three outings for the first time in his career as a starter. He seemed headed that way until being doomed by his 86th, 87th and 88th pitches of the game. Still, the 28-year-old right-hander is making quite the impression in his first season for the Rangers and his initial campaign in the AL after spending his first seven seasons with Arizona and Philadelphia.

Harden (2-0) allowed three hits, walked five and struck out eight in seven innings, but only 63 of the 107 pitches he threw were for strikes. Harden matched his walks total from his first two outings.

After Justin Duchscherer allowed consecutive one-out singles to Gary Matthews Jr. and Michael Young in the eighth, Joe Kennedy relieved and got Mark Teixeira to ground into an inning-ending double play. Huston Street converted his third save in as many chances and 21st in a row dating to last season.

The Rangers took a 1-0 lead when D’Angelo Jimenez grounded into a double play in the second.

Bradley also singled twice to extend his hitting streak to five games for the A’s, who haven’t strayed from their tradition of slow starts in the first month.

Three consecutive homers happened four times in the majors last year. The last occasion was Cincinnati’s Felipe Lopez, Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns on Oct. 2 at St. Louis.

Notes: Rangers INF Mark DeRosa was held out of the lineup again a day after he tweaked his left ankle in his first game back after missing six games with a high ankle injury in the same foot. While DeRosa tried to convince manager Buck Showalter he could play, he might also get Sunday off for a total of three days’ rest with the team’s day off Monday. “They’re just being cautious I guess,” said DeRosa, who felt it chasing a foul ball Friday. … A’s manager Ken Macha plans to give 2B Mark Ellis a couple of days off to work on his swing. Ellis is batting .167 with two RBIs so far this season and is hitless in his last 14 at-bats. Marco Scutaro started at 2B Saturday. … Violet Dimova from Danville won $5,000 in a promotion for back-to-back homers in the sixth.

AP-ES-04-15-06 1842EDT