OAKLAND, Calif. - Nelson Cruz shook off talk of a pending suspension to hit a tying two-run homer, Jurickson Profar added another two-run shot and the surging Texas Rangers beat the Oakland Athletics 8-3 on Friday night for their fifth straight win.
Cruz, who is among 14 players facing a possible suspension as part of Major League Baseball's Biogenesis investigation, hit his 26th home run of the season in the second inning. Profar put the Rangers ahead 6-2 with his fourth homer in the fourth.
The Rangers, who were six games behind Oakland in the AL West earlier this week, are only 2 1/2 games back.
Brandon Moss' two-run double in the first gave the A's the lead, but Oakland stranded 10 runners to lose its third in a row.
Tommy Milone (9-9) allowed six runs - including both homers - and nine hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Jason Frasor (2-2) tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief for the win.
After going 32 days without gaining ground on Oakland, the Rangers are making up for lost time. Texas has gained 3 1/2 games in the division in four days.
Rangers manager Ron Washington also matched Bobby Valentine for the most wins by a manager in franchise history. Washington, the longtime A's third-base coach, is 581-501 in seven seasons.
All the good vibes still come in the shadow of a looming investigation that could deliver a major setback.
MLB is prepared to issue two simultaneous announcements no later than Monday. One would list players who accept suspensions; the other would name those disciplined without deals, but who could challenge penalties before an arbitrator.
Most players face 50-game suspensions for their links to the now-closed Florida anti-aging clinic.
Barring a rainout this weekend, the Rangers would have exactly 50 games remaining as the head into play Monday at the Los Angeles Angels.