ARLINGTON, Texas -- Travis Blackley's vagabond baseball career has never kept him in one place very long.
Right now, the left-hander is pitching well enough to grow some roots in the A's rotation.
Oakland avoided a four-game sweep in Texas with Sunday's 3-1 victory over the Rangers, and the A's can thank their well-traveled Australian for restoring order to their chaotic weekend.
Blackley held Texas' potent lineup to one run over seven innings, the latest impressive effort from a player who has been with six big league organizations and also pitched in Korea, Mexico and his native Australia.
The A's claimed the 29-year-old off waivers from the Giants on May 15, and after a short stint in long relief, Blackley (2-2) has helped bolster an injury-plagued rotation.
"His route here was all over the world basically," said A's manager Bob Melvin, who also managed Blackley when he broke in with Seattle in 2004. "For him to be pitching as well as he is at the big league level right now is really a testament to a guy who's persevered through a lot."
Sunday's win didn't make up for the first three games of the series, when the A's (38-42) held leads all three days but found ways to sabotage their chances. But they felt better about themselves as they flew home for a three-game series that begins Monday night against Boston.
Derek Norris' RBI single pulled Oakland into a tie in the fifth. Jemile Weeks scored on a wild pitch in
That was enough for Blackley, who has pitched at least six innings and allowed two or fewer runs over his past four starts.
He picked two runners off first early in the game, giving him an American League-best six pickoffs this season. But his most impressive work came with the A's leading 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth.
Craig Gentry led off with a ground-rule double, a bizarre play in which his drive hit off the center-field wall, deflected off Yoenis Cespedes' foot and went over the wall. Blackley retired the top three hitters in Texas' order -- Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus and Josh Hamilton -- on pop-ups to escape the threat.
Blackley feels he meshes well in the A's clubhouse.
"It's comfortable," he said. "It's not like your average big league locker room where you've got your big-name guys over here and the regulars over there, so it makes it a lot more enjoyable."
And he's introduced some new pregame music into the A's clubhouse. Blackley is a hard-core heavy metal fan who was blasting Amity Affliction, an Australian metal band, before Sunday's game.
"Yeah, it's soothing," Norris said with good-natured sarcasm. "He can listen to whatever he wants as long as he pitches his best."
Moss' homer helped saddle Darvish with Sunday's loss, though the Japanese right-hander tied his major league career high with 11 strikeouts in seven innings.
Moss' eight homers are tied for second-most in Oakland history over a player's first 21 games with the team.
He's likely to play first base again Monday with the Red Sox throwing a right-hander in Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Brett Anderson threw a 40-pitch session and mixed in all four of his pitches -- fastball, curve, slider and changeup. He said he will throw off the mound again in a few days and might be ready to throw live batting practice after that.
The next logical step from there would be a minor league rehab assignment, but Melvin had no timetable for when that might happen.