ARLINGTON, Texas -- Wednesday's 12-1 win over Texas completed a three-game sweep for the A's and vaulted them to an 18-10 record for the first month of the season.
Just a week earlier, the Rangers had swept the A's and had momentarily moved into first place in the American League West.
A sweep is a sweep is a sweep. Except not all sweeps are created equal. The A's had two one-run losses in Oakland, two games they probably should have won. The Rangers closest loss this week was Monday's 4-0 shutout.
"In Oakland we had a couple of games where they fought back hard and won," A's third baseman Josh Donaldson said. "Here, we went up against their best pitchers and beat them."
Wednesday's Texas starter Robbie Ross came in with a 2.45 ERA. On Monday Yu Darvish was at 1.61 and Tuesday's starter was Martin Perez, whose 1.42 ERA led the league. Those three starters combined to throw 111/3 innings in the series, giving up 25 hits and 22 runs (18 earned). For the statistically minded, that's a cumulative ERA of 14.29.
So, yes, the A's could say their sweep was the more impressive. Oakland never trailed in this series, outscored Texas 25-4 and left town with a three-game lead in the A.L. West.
"It felt pretty good," first baseman Alberto Callaspo said. "We got some hits. In Oakland we didn't have so many."
The A's also got some pitching. On Wednesday, Jesse Chavez pitched the best game of his career, hitting both sides of the plate with his cutter for seven innings in which he allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out eighth.
"You never want to get swept at home," Chavez said. "We came in with a little added fire."
A's starters Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir and Chavez combined to throw 21 innings in which they allowed just three runs. Gray and Kazmir both notched their fourth wins of the season and while Chavez is just 2-0, but the A's have won all six of his starts.
"That's the biggest thing," Chavez said of all those wins. "Whether it's one of us (the starters) or one of the relievers, winning is the biggest thing.
"I still have a lot of room for improvement. You can never get complacent in this game. That's something I don't want to have happen. Overall I'm happy."
The A's finished April with 18 wins, which is second to Milwaukee's 20. It makes for the best first month of the season since the 1989 team, the last A's World Series winner, went 18-8. No Oakland team has ever won more than 18 in the first month of the season.
"We've played hard. We've played good," Callaspo said. "It's been good baseball. But we've got to keep playing."
The A's got three hits each from Callaspo and Derek Norris and seven different hitters had at least one RBI with Eric Sogard driving home three.
"It's nice to find some holes," Sogard said.
He was one of the few A's who had been struggling of late. He came into the day with a .167 average over his past 14 games, but he singled home two runs to cap a seven-run third and singled to bring in the final run of the three-run fourth.
By that time Chavez had a 10-0 lead and this one was all but over.
"They beat us soundly," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
There was no arguing the fact.
A's (Dan Straily (1-1) at Boston (Clay Buchholz 1-2), 4:10 p.m., CSNCA