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A's Offense Wilts In Texas Heat

Following a streak of pitching gems by Loaiza, Zito and Blanton, Haren did his part this evening, pounding the Rangers hitters for a career-high 12 strikeouts, and limiting the scoring to 3 runs, including a 2-run shot by former Oakland favorite Matt Stairs.

But as we've seen with some frequency this year, the A's offense had gone AWOL, opting not to score. While we could find blame with the umpiring, it'd be a cheap excuse, as the A's players are ultimately responsible for putting runs on the board, in scoring with runners on and avoiding the double play. That didn't happen tonight.

The A's also managed to make Rangers hurler Vicente Padilla look dominant. While the A's record against the rest of the AL West is 28-12, a .700 clip, they've scratched out only one win against Padilla, amid three losses, including two straight shutouts. With tonight's loss, the A's leave Arlington with a 5 1/2 game lead on the Angels, who also lost tonight. The A's now are set to face the Red Sox in a three-game series at the Coliseum, starting tomorrow, at 7:05 p.m.