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OAK@LAA: Pomeranz limits Angels to one run over seven

The Rangers have managed to stay afloat in the American League playoff picture despite an injury list that could nearly fill out a lineup card and rotation.

They'll see if their makeshift roster can win a series against the AL West-leading A's.

Manager Ron Washington knows this is a big three-game series for the Rangers starting Monday night at O.co Coliseum.

"We've got to go up there and play well or we're going to get buried," Washington said. "We want to play well because they're leading the division. But I'm not going to call a meeting. We're just going to go into Oakland and play."

The A's won the division in 2012 and '13, with the Rangers finishing second both years. After dropping Sunday's finale with Seattle, Texas sits eight games behind Oakland in third place.

"It's a big series because it is the West and we have to beat the guys in front of us," said Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre. "They're in first place and they have won the division the last two years. What else can you say?"

The teams have split their previous six matchups in 2014, with each recording road sweeps.

"With the amount of injuries they have … to continue to play as well and as hard as they have is a testament to Ron Washington and the guys in their system," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "You do definitely tip your hat to a club that really has been decimated yet continues to play well and play hard."

The opener will match Oakland's Drew Pomeranz against Colby Lewis.

Lewis hasn't pitched into the seventh inning yet this season, as opposing hitters are batting .336 against him.

Pomeranz, meanwhile, lasted a career-high seven innings in each of his last two starts. He didn't earn a win in either, but he lowered his ERA to 1.90 by allowing just one total earned run. The lefty joined the A's rotation on May 7 and is 4-2 with a 1.88 ERA in seven starts.

A's: Slumping Donaldson drops to sixth in order
Josh Donaldson has temporarily been bumped from the middle of the A's lineup.

The third baseman batted sixth in Sunday's 10-5 win over the Yankees, snapping a career-worst 0-for-33 streak with an RBI ground-ball single.

"It's just a little bit of a change of scenery, which you do from time to time just to mix things up," Melvin said. "I talked to him about it last night so he was aware. But he hits two, three and four for us, and it won't be long before he's back."

Donaldson, who last batted sixth on Aug. 19, 2013, has spent the majority of the season hitting third for the first-place A's, racking up a team-leading 17 home runs and 50 RBIs. But his average slipped from .285 to .250 in just two weeks prior to Sunday.

Rangers: Murphy to get time at first base
When the Rangers face left-handers on Monday and Tuesday, Donnie Murphy is expected to be in the lineup at first base, adding a new position to the utilityman's defensive worth.

Brad Snyder had been starting there since being called up from Triple-A Round Rock on Tuesday to face five consecutive opposing right-handed starting pitchers. Washington is planning to use both at first base while Mitch Moreland recovers from ankle surgery, which is expected to cost him three months.

Murphy has made two starts at first base since Moreland sustained the injury last week. It's the first time he's played the position in his professional career.

"He's doing great, there have been no issues," Washington said. "He's an athlete, he can make all the plays. We're working with him so there will be no surprises and so far we haven't seen any surprises."

Worth noting
• Lewis will be making his 19th career start against the Athletics. That will tie him with Bobby Witt for the third most by a Rangers pitcher. Charlie Hough had 30 and Kenny Rogers had 28.

• A's right fielder Josh Reddick (right knee) is expected to begin a rehab assignment on Tuesday with Triple-A Sacramento this week.

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