After owner calls team soft, Rangers topple A's

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- The Texas Rangers heard about their
owner's critical words back home, then went out and won their third
straight game and took a series from the division leader.

As far as mental toughness goes, the Rangers disagree with Tom
Hicks' assessment that it's something they're lacking.

Mark DeRosa hit a three-run homer, and Michael Young went
4-for-5 with a triple and scored twice in the Rangers' 5-4 victory
over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night.

"Toughness is not an issue in this clubhouse," Young said.
"If we get outplayed, fine, I'll say it and answer questions about
it. But don't question my approach to the game or my passion for
baseball. I know it wasn't directed at me, but he called out the
team and the ones who shoulder the load take it personal."

Mark Teixeira walked in his first three plate appearances and
doubled. Carlos Lee reached base three times and drove in a run for
the Rangers, who won their third straight.

"We need to be a little tougher," Hicks told Dallas radio
station KTCK-AM. "We need to be mentally tougher. I think we
missed David Dellucci (traded to the Phillies before the season)
this year. I think that leadership in the clubhouse part is really
important, and we didn't have that after he left."

Frank Thomas hit his 31st home run of the year, a three-run shot
in the sixth that pulled Oakland within 5-4. It gave the Big Hurt
1,553 career RBI and moved him past Fred McGriff for 36th place on
the career list. The 38-year-old Thomas, enjoying a resurgence this
season following two injury-shortened years with the White Sox, is
two RBI from tying Willie McCovey for 35th -- and he's making the
case for Oakland to bring him back for the 2007 season.

"That's the time of year men come out, and he's playing like a
man," manager Ken Macha said of Thomas.

Oakland has lost a series for the first time in 12 chances. The
A's won 10 and split a four-game set with Kansas City after
dropping two of three games to the Boston Red Sox at home from July

Adam Eaton (5-4), who lost to the A's in Arlington on Aug. 26,
won for the first time in three road starts. He gave up five hits
and four runs, struck out five and walked one in 5 2-3 innings.
Akinori Otsuka, who has had migraine headaches in recent weeks,
pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts for his 31st save in 34

The A's had the go-ahead run on first after Jay Payton hit a
broken-bat infield single following Eric Chavez's one-out walk from
Wes Littleton. But Nick Swisher, who had homered earlier, struck
out swinging and pinch-hitter Mark Kotsay grounded out.

After Thomas' homer, Chavez walked and later stole third. He
initially was called out by third base umpire Marty Foster, but
DeRosa apparently dropped the ball on the throw from catcher Gerald
Laird. Chavez was credited with his third stolen base of the

Kirk Saarloos (7-7) had his four-game winning streak snapped for
his first loss in eight appearances since a defeat July 17 at

DeRosa connected for his 13th homer with one out in the third,
two batters after Lee singled in a run to give Texas a 1-0 lead.
And Saarloos was done after the third inning and only 60 pitches,
giving way to Brad Halsey. He allowed seven hits and four runs,
struck out one and walked three.

DeRosa didn't take offense to Hicks' comments.

"If he's not happy with our play, he has a right to say that,"
DeRosa said.

Swisher hit a solo homer with two outs in the fifth for the
first-place A's, who lost the series opener Monday 8-1 and had
their AL West lead trimmed to 5 games over Los Angeles after the
Angels beat Baltimore 5-2 in 10 innings.

Swisher has 29 homers, two behind Thomas for the team lead. The
two have been close in the category all year.

Young, who went hitless Monday, needs 15 hits to reach 200 for
the fourth straight season.

Game notes
CF Kotsay did not start because of spasms in his upper
back, but Oakland manager Ken Macha was hopeful he would play
Wednesday's series finale -- the final meeting of the year for the
clubs. ... Of the 18 games between these teams this season, 15 have
been decided by three or fewer runs. ... The A's claimed RHP Jerome
Williams off waivers from the Chicago Cubs and brought up INF
D'Angelo Jimenez from Triple-A Sacramento. Oakland designated RHP
Matt Roney and INF Mike Rouse for assignment.