OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - The Texas Rangers had plenty of chances against Trevor Cahill, even drawing three walks in the first inning. They couldn't capitalize.
And, back in his old stomping grounds, Ron Washington still couldn't win on his birthday - dropping his fourth such chance as a manager.
Cahill pitched seven scoreless innings to outduel C.J. Wilson (3-1) and quickly found his rhythm after escaping a 26-pitch first inning unscathed, and the Oakland Athletics topped Texas 3-1 on Friday night.
Kurt Suzuki came off the paternity leave list and delivered a go-ahead RBI single to help keep Cahill (4-0) unbeaten.
The Rangers kicked off a seven-game West Coast road trip all against the division with a punchless performance to lose for the fourth time in five games. Texas fell into a first-place tie with the Los Angeles Angels in the AL West.
``We had runners out there and we just needed a base hit at the right time,' said Washington, who lost on his 59th birthday. ``It would have been the difference in the ballgame. We didn't get it. Even against Trevor we had bases loaded, runners on second and third and just didn't get a hit off him at the right time.'
Grant Balfour pitched the eighth and Brian Fuentes finished for his seventh save in nine chances after allowing Michael Young's two-out RBI single.
Cahill, who on April 11 received a new five-year contract worth $30.5 million, issued three free passes in an inning for the fifth time in his career but the first since July 17, 2009, against the Angels during his rookie season.
Cahill had walked only eight batters total in his first five starts this season before the four total walks Friday. The right-hander allowed seven hits and also struck out four while improving to 7-2 for his career against Texas.
``Our offense hasn't been doing what we're capable of lately and Trevor Cahill's always tough on us,' Rangers left fielder David Murphy said. ``It would be nice to see our offense clicking from top to bottom against a guy like that but we weren't. I don't even think he had his best stuff tonight.'
Mitch Moreland, Young and Elvis Andrus each had two hits for Texas, which has gained or lost ground in the division race each of the last 14 days after holding a two-game lead for three straight days from April 13-15.
Suzuki did some early catching work in the bullpen to get back in a groove but he started at designated hitter. Manager Bob Geren said Suzuki would be back behind the plate Saturday. His two-out RBI single in the third put the A's ahead, then Josh Willingham added an RBI double in the fifth. Suzuki also grounded into a fielder's choice in the seventh as Oakland's third run against Wilson came home.
Suzuki left Anaheim on Wednesday to return to the Bay Area, where his wife, Renee, gave birth to the couple's first child Thursday morning. Malia weighed in at 8 pounds, 3 ounces.
Regular A's DH Hideki Matsui had the night off against a lefty starter but was slated to start Saturday.
Oakland played its first game back home since the venue was named the Overstock.com Coliseum this week.
``I still call it the Coliseum,' quipped Washington, a longtime A's third base coach before taking the Texas job.
Texas clinched the club's first AL West title since 1999 at the Coliseum last Sept. 25 and went on to reach the franchise's first World Series before losing to the San Francisco Giants in five games.
Former Rangers pitchers Rich Harden and Brandon McCarthy received their AL champion rings - featuring 137 diamonds - from Texas director of baseball operations Matt Vinnola and media relations director John Blake outside the Oakland clubhouse before the game.
Notes: The Rangers signed veteran RHP reliever Justin Miller to a Triple-A contract and he is scheduled to join the Round Rock team Monday. The 33-year-old Miller could be called upon to help Texas' taxed and beat up bullpen.
The Associated Press News Service
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