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OAK@TEX: Darvish holds A's to one run over 7 2/3

After a dramatic extra-inning walk-off homer by Josh Hamilton in the bottom of the 13th inning Saturday, the Rangers will be looking for their third sweep of the season Sunday when they close out a three-game set with the Blue Jays in Arlington. A victory would move Texas over .500 in May for the first time.

Toronto, which has dropped four straight, will look to avoid dropping a season-high fifth in a row, will have to do it against Yu Darvish, who stifled the Blue Jays earlier in the season.

Texas is hoping Darvish puts his last start behind him and pitches like he did when he dominated Toronto in April.

Darvish's last outing was his shortest of the season, as he went just four innings, while walking a career-high six. He struck out five, which snapped a streak of five straight starts with at least seven strikeouts, and the loss to the Mariners was just his second of the year.

When Darvish faced the Jays, he tossed seven innings of one-run ball while striking out nine and walking two in the victory. Rangers manager Ron Washington would like to see the righty get back to locating his pitches better, like he did against Toronto.

"Cut down on the base on balls and throw the ball over the plate, make them put it in play and save some of those pitches," Washington said. "Seattle didn't hit him around, they just put people on the bag and got a hit when they needed it. They made it look worse than it was. He threw 90-something pitches in four innings, but it was the walks that did it. He's just got to cut down on his base on balls."

Darvish will be opposed by Kyle Drabek for the second time this season. While Darvish earned the win the first time, Drabek turned in a solid performance himself.

Drabek lasted six innings, struck out a career-high eight and walked just two -- one of only two starts this season he has walked fewer than three. Like Darvish, Drabek needs to have better command of the ball, and is coming off a difficult start. The 24-year-old walked six -- matching a season high -- while issuing three wild pitches in a career-high 118-pitch outing.

The righty, who has allowed two runs or fewer in seven of his nine starts, believes dialing down his energy a bit will go a long way in helping his control.

"The effort level I had in the last three innings was 100 percent rather than 110 early on," Drabek said after his last start. "Which has been something that I've been trying to fix a little bit -- the first few innings I come up there and [give] 110 effort level, when in the bullpen I'm 100 percent and everything is doing exactly what I want it to."

The Rangers improved to 3-2 against the Blue Jays after dropping two of three when the two clubs met in April. They will meet once more this season for three games in August, when Texas will look to win its first season series against Toronto since 2006.

Blue Jays: Rasmus delivers out of No. 2 spot
• Center fielder Colby Rasmus, who has been mired in a season-long slump, was inserted into the two-hole for the first time this season Saturday.

Rasmus responded by hitting a two-run homer in the fourth, his first home run since he clubbed two against the Royals on April 21.

The 25-year-old is batting .215 with a .290 on-base percentage, but has turned things around recently. Since getting benched in favor of Rajai Davis for two straight games, Rasmus has collected a hit in five of six games, including two multihit efforts.

• David Cooper started at first base in Saturday's loss and went 2-for-5 with a run scored and a RBI.

Cooper, who was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas on Friday, went 0-for-1 in Friday's blowout loss in his first game of the season. He entered in the seventh.

The California native made his Major League debut with the Blue Jays in 2011, and hit .211 with a .678 OPS over 71 at-bats.

Rangers: Cruz a Blue Jays killer
Nelson Cruz hit a solo homer in Saturday's win over Toronto, a night after going 4-for-5 with a grand slam and eight RBIs. The eight RBIs matched a career high and he became the first Rangers player with two eight-RBI games in his career. His other eight-RBI effort came against the Blue Jays last July.

Cruz has 44 career RBIs versus Toronto, one short of the 45 he has against the Angels -- his most against any opponent.

The 31-year-old right fielder has hit four of six home runs in May, while 10 of his 32 RBIs on the season have come via Toronto pitchers.

• Mitch Moreland has posted back-to-back three-hit games against Toronto, increasing his average to .309. Moreland is hitting .379 in May (22-for-58) after batting just .231 in April.

The Texas first baseman, who hit his eighth homer Saturday, has a .946 OPS thanks to his hot month at the plate.

Moreland's homer came in the sixth and was the third consecutive home run surrendered by Blue Jays starter Henderson Alvarez.

• Hamilton's walk-off homer was a two-run blast off Jasor Frasor and increased his Major League-leading total to 20. He also leads the Majors with 53 RBIs.

It was Hamilton's third career walk-off homer, and Texas' first of the season.

Worth noting
• Texas has outscored Toronto, 38-30, over the five meetings this year. At the conclusion of Saturday's game, the Rangers had the best run differential in the American League, and Toronto was third.

• Hamilton and teammate Adrian Beltre have combined to hit 29 homers, the most of any duo in the AL. Toronto's Jose Bautista (12) and Edwin Encarnacion (15) are second with 27. Comments