Texas Rangers (57-92) at Oakland Athletics (83-66), 10:05 p.m. (ET)
(SportsNetwork.com) - Scott Kazmir looks to avoid a fourth straight losing decision on Tuesday night as the Oakland Athletics resume their playoff push with the opener of a three-game set with the Texas Rangers.
Kazmir's skid has dropped the left-hander to 14-8 with a 3.32 earned run average on the season, though he is coming off a tough-luck 1-0 setback to the Chicago White Sox. He gave up the lone run on a solo homer over his eight innings of work, striking out seven.
Kazmir has won both of his starts versus Texas this year, giving up five runs over 10 innings.
Oakland won the final two contests of a three-game set with the Seattle Mariners, including Sunday's 4-0 victory, giving the club just five wins in its past 17 games. Still, the Athletics hold the first of two wild card spots in the American League with 13 games to play.
Sam Fuld and Brandon Moss both homered in Sunday's win, while Jon Lester hurled six scoreless innings.
"If there was a series we needed to win, it was this one," Moss said.
Oakland probably needs to win a few more series to make the playoffs and will try to prevent Texas from playing spoiler. The Rangers had lost 10 of 11 before sweeping a three-game series with the Atlanta Braves, leaving Texas eight losses shy of 100 on the year.
Luis Sardinas drove in four runs in Sunday's 10-3 win over the Braves, while Michael Choice had three RBI. Choice, though, suffered a strain hamstring on his two-run double in the fifth inning and exited the contest.
Colby Lewis earned the win, allowing one run on five hits over seven innings of work.
"We haven't had a lot of positive to lay our hats on and this was a big deal for us," Rangers interim manager Tim Bogar said. "We ended up getting three great pitching performances in a row that gave us the opportunity to get the sweep."
Bogar will look for Nick Tepesch to make it four in a row, but the right- hander has not won since Aug. 6 and dropped his third decision in a row on Wednesday versus the Los Angeles Angels.
Tepesch gave up three runs on 10 hits and two walks over 4 2/3 innings.
"I pretty much had guys on base every inning," Tepesch said. "Tough in those situations, but I felt like I was making better pitches as the game went on."
Tepesch is just 4-10 with a 4.47 ERA on the year and 0-2 lifetime versus Oakland with a 7.11 ERA in five meetings, including three starts.
The A's have won seven of 12 versus the Rangers this season.