The Texas Rangers still got the victory after a lengthy outing from their bullpen.Five Texas relievers pitched 8 1/3 innings after Kevin Millwood left with an injury as the Rangers beat the Oakland Athletics 6-4 on Saturday night for their fifth straight win, despite having their shutout streak end at 33 innings.The bullpen was pressed into service two outs into the game when Millwood strained his groin."They did a great job," Millwood said of the bullpen's efforts. "It's great that we won the game and it's great that they did as good of a job as they did. ... They had to throw a lot of innings that they shouldn't have had to throw."Josh Rupe (1-1) replaced Millwood and yielded two runs in three innings. Frank Francisco, Eddie Guardado and Joaquin Benoit followed with scoreless relief outings for the Rangers, who won their fifth straight series for the first time since Aug. 23-Sept. 7, 2005."Unfortunately, [Millwood] had a little hiccup," Rupe said. "We had to pick him up. The guys after me helped me out and did a great job."Texas pitchers had posted three shutouts in a row and the scoreless streak was the second-longest in franchise history. Oakland ended it with an unearned run in the third inning."When we get good starting pitching we can compete with anybody," Texas manager Ron Washington said.Milton Bradley homered and drove in three runs and Josh Hamilton added three hits for the Rangers, who have won nine of 11 games.Frank Thomas hit a two-run double in the ninth off C.J. Wilson that cut the lead to 6-4. Oakland's rally fell short when Emil Brown popped out to end the game.Oakland had won four in a row coming into this series with Texas."The last couple of nights, we haven't taken advantage of our opportunities," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "We've had a hard time getting that key hit."Millwood recorded two outs and threw 12 pitches before exiting. The Rangers will evaluate Millwood further on Sunday."Hopefully it's not bad," Millwood said.Oakland's Dana Eveland (3-3) allowed three runs, six hits and struck out five over six innings.Bradley hit a two-run homer off Eveland that gave the Rangers a 3-1 lead in the third. It was just the second home run Eveland has allowed in 47 2/3 innings this season."Take away the two pitches I threw to Milton and I threw pretty well," Eveland said.With two outs in the third, Jack Cust doubled and Thomas walked. On Brown's infield single, Ian Kinsler's errant throw past first baseman Chris Shelton allowed Cust to score and ended the 33-inning scoreless string.It was longest shutout streak since Baltimore pitchers posted 45 consecutive shutout frames to end the 1995 season.The longest scoreless innings run in Rangers history is 39 in 1981."Those guys are pitching very well and they're swinging the bats well," Geren said. "That's a pretty good combination."Ryan Sweeney had a sacrifice fly that brought Oakland within 3-2 in the fourth.Hamilton hit an RBI single in the seventh. German Duran had an RBI double and Kinsler hit a run-scoring single in the eighth to extend Texas' lead to 6-2.
Texas RHP Luis Mendoza, on the disabled list since April 24, threw 45 pitches in a simulated game Saturday. Mendoza will throw a bullpen session Monday before it is decided whether he needs a minor league rehab outing before coming off the DL. ... Thomas hasn't homered since signing with Oakland on April 24 -- a span of 16 games. ... Texas C Gerald Laird went 0-for-4 to end his 10-game hitting streak.