ARLINGTON -- John Jaso felt he was safe on a strange play in the fourth that started a six-run inning on Monday.
Yoenis Cespedes hit a ground ball to third that bounced off the Rangers' Adrian Beltre. Shortstop Elvis Andrus fielded the ball and threw to Beltre as Jaso took off from second to third. Despite two tag attempts by Beltre, third-base umpire Jordan Baker called Jaso safe.
"I hesitated, 'Maybe I should go back,' but it was a split-second hesitation," Jaso said. "I was already going, so I kept going. I know Beltre caught the ball, but I did some weird swim move over the top of his glove. I was safe by a fingertip."
Jaso scored on an RBI single from Brandon Moss on the next at-bat. The A's knocked out Rangers starting pitcher Nick Tepesch in that inning on an RBI single from Coco Crisp to give Oakland a 6-4 lead.
"A crazy play like that could get some momentum going," Jaso said. "It's one of those plays where it went our way. If it went the pitcher's way, it could've been totally different. It could've been a shutdown inning. I don't know what would've happened, but I like to think that it maybe gave us momentum."
Manager Bob Melvin feels better about his lineup given the results of the last two games, during which the A's offense has produced 17 runs on 25 hits. They scored just 19 runs in the previous seven games with a .206 batting average. Melvin felt some of his left-handers like Moss and Seth Smith have looked better at the plate. Moss is 8-for-24 with three home runs and six RBIs in the last five games. Smith has recorded multiple hits in consecutive games.
"I feel better about our lineup," Melvin said. "You saw it [Monday] and you saw it the other day on Sunday. They know they're going to be in for a stretch here. We have some left-handed hitters here that can really produce."
Donaldson not focusing on rough stretch at plate
ARLINGTON -- Josh Donaldson feels he's been hitting the ball hard despite the lack of results lately.
Donaldson, who entered Tuesday in the midst of a 6-for-41 slump, was hitting sixth in the A's lineup against the Rangers. During the rough stretch, he has seen his batting average drop from .332 to .303. Two of those hits came on Sunday against the Mariners. He went 0-for-3 with a walk Monday against the Rangers.
"It's just one of those times in the season where you go through it," Donaldson said. "You try not to focus on it too much and just get back to your approach and continue to hit balls hard."
Donaldson said he's watched video of his at-bats to see how pitchers are attacking him at the plate. He said he's getting more offspeed pitches, which he doesn't have a problem with.
"I feel like my swing is fine," Donaldson said. Everything is fine. I've just got to go out there and continue the same approach. … It's all about making adjustments. Guys are going to make adjustments to you, and you've got to make adjustments back with them."
Donaldson is in the midst of his best season during his young three-year career. He has a .370 on-base percentage with a .500 slugging percentage to go along with 10 home runs and 43 RBIs in 264 at-bats.
"You're always going to go through some periods in the season where you're not getting the results you normally do," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "That's kind of the case for him up until [Sunday] , but he's probably been our most consistent guy over the course of the season."
Still not 100 percent, Cespedes remains at DH
ARLINGTON -- A's manager Bob Melvin said Tuesday that Yoenis Cespedes' legs "aren't quite 100 percent."
Cespedes was slotted in the designated-hitter position for the fifth straight game. He entered the night 3-for-17 since returning to the lineup after experiencing tightness in his left hamstring.
"The more he attacks it, especially in the heat, sometimes it'll be tougher to be hydrated," Melvin said. "Those are all part of muscles, so we're being careful with another day. Whether it'd be tomorrow, I'm not sure yet. I take my lead from the trainers."
Melvin scheduled for the team to hit in the cages Tuesday to cope with the Texas heat. The A's will hold batting practice on the field again Wednesday and hit in the cages for Thursday's day game.
"It takes a little out of you, especially the first day," Melvin said. "You need to come here and get used to the conditions, but I think you benefit by not being out here every day."
Melvin followed the Rangers, who alternate at times throughout the season between batting practice on the field and in the cages. The A's have also had a tough schedule, playing 17 in a row without an off-day, and they are now in a 13-game stretch without a break. In addition, the A's played 18 innings against the Yankees last Thursday.
"This might be the first night game that we have not hit, but I think it's the prudent thing to do -- especially in the stretch that we're in," Melvin said. "... The schedule hasn't been very kind to us here recently, when you're trying to keep your bullpen fresh. It's been a difficult stretch for us, as far as number of games played in the number of days."
Master Tesfatsion is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.