Rookies lead the way as A's keep pace

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Oakland rookie Huston Street felt even
more pressure than usual when he tried to close out a narrow
victory over the Texas Rangers in the heat of a tight pennant race.

With several members of his family in the stands Saturday night,
the former University of Texas standout and Austin native recorded
the final five outs to help the Athletics beat the Rangers 5-4.

"It makes it special pitching close to home," said Street, who
also closed out a win Friday night against the Rangers. "But I
know I'll hear it from my dad if I make a mistake."

Luckily for him and the A's, Street got out of jams in the
eighth and ninth to pick up his 20th save in 24 chances.

Fellow rookie Dan Johnson hit his first career grand slam as the
A's beat the Rangers for the sixth straight time on the road.

Oakland remained one game behind the Los Angeles Angels in the
AL West and trails Cleveland by 1½ games in the wild-card race.

"Any win is big this time of year," Johnson said. "It doesn't
matter whether it's 1-0 or 15-0."

The A's are 30-9 on the road since June 10, the best mark in the
majors in that span.

Mark Teixeira hit his 38th homer, and Michael Young and David
Dellucci added homers for the Rangers, who increased their major
league-leading total to 238.

Young and Hank Blalock drew walks in the eighth before Street
was called from the bullpen.

He retired Alfonso Soriano and Kevin Mench to escape the threat.

Adrian Gonzalez singled to lead off the ninth and pinch-runner
Mark DeRosa was sacrificed to second by Gary Matthews Jr. Street
then retired Gerald Laird on a grounder and struck out Dellucci.

"[Street] has been tremendous," Oakland starter Joe Blanton
said. "He looks so calm out there. He must have nerves of steel. I
guess that's why we're confident he's going to get the job done
every time."

Blanton (9-11) allowed four runs and six hits in six innings. He
had yielded two runs or fewer in each of his nine previous starts.

But the rookie pitcher finally got some needed run support.
Oakland has scored two runs or fewer in 19 of his 29 starts.

"He pitched about as well as you can in this ballpark,"
Johnson said. "Giving up just four runs here is a good day."

Texas rookie Kameron Loe (8-5) made his fourth start of the
season and allowed five runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings.

After Johnson's second-inning grand slam, Loe allowed just one
run the rest of the way.

"I was happy with the outing, as I was with his last one,"
Texas manager Buck Showalter said. "We had opportunities to make
the grand slam not matter."

Loe was 3-0 with a 0.95 ERA in his first three starts but was
hit hard early by the A's. Eric Chavez and Jay Payton singled
starting the second, and a walk to Scott Hatteberg loaded the
bases. Johnson lined a 1-2 pitch from Loe into the seats in right
for his 14th homer of the season.

"It was just one bad inning, one bad pitch," Loe said. "I
threw a two-seamer up a little more than I wanted and he got it."

Oakland improved to 7-1 this season at Texas, and that includes
three one-run victories. The A's also squeaked out a 9-8 victory
Friday night.

"I can't really explain our success in this park," Oakland
manager Ken Macha said. "It's luck I guess. I know there have been
a lot of one-run victories."

Young tied his career high by hitting with his 22nd home run of
the season with one out in the first.

Dellucci's third-inning homer cut the lead to 4-2, but Hatteberg
had an RBI single in the sixth. Teixeira hit a two-run homer in the
sixth, matching his career high for homers in a season.

Game notes
Young has hit safely in 19 of his last 20 games. ...
Johnson has hit 13 of his 14 homers on the road.