ARLINGTON -- C.J. Wilson didn't get the victory on Thursday afternoon but that's not why he was miffed with his pitching performance against the Athletics. "I felt I could have gotten out of that game without giving up a run," Wilson said. "I was unsatisfied with the results. I didn't physically have the good stuff but I was able to make pitches in different situations." Wilson may not have been satisfied with his performance, but the Rangers were thrilled with what they got on the mound. Wilson was the first of six Rangers pitchers who held the Athletics to one run over 12 innings in a 2-1 victory at Rangers Ballpark.
"A very big day for all of us," winning pitcher Dustin Nippert said. "Amazing." The Rangers have won 10 of their last 13 games and their pitching staff has a 3.05 ERA in that stretch. Their starters have a 2.96 ERA but on Thursday it was both Wilson and the bullpen getting the job done. "The pitchers did an outstanding job," manager Ron Washington said. "They really did. All of them." Wilson went seven innings and allowed one run on four singles. He walked three and struck out five while setting two club "records." This was Wilson's seventh straight quality start to begin the season. No other Rangers pitcher has done that in club history. Wilson, who has yet to give up a home run this season, has also not allowed one in his last 69 1/3 innings at the Ballpark going back to last season. That too is a club record. Wilson also survived his first balk of the season. Pitching in the seventh inning in a 1-1 game, Wilson had a runner on second with two outs and was called for a balk by home-plate umpire Bob Davidson. "It was one those situations that was mega-tense," Wilson said. "I went to step off the mound and maybe they saw something. It's a good thing it didn't affect me." Instead Wilson got Cliff Pennington to ground out to end the inning. Washington then turned the game over to the bullpen. Chris Ray and Darren Oliver pitched a scoreless eighth, and Neftali Feliz set the side down in order in the ninth with two strikeouts. Feliz also got two outs in the 10th sandwiched around a walk to Adam Rosales. Frankie Francisco took over and struck out Kevin Kouzmanoff to end the inning. Francisco then struck out the side in the 11th, ranking next to Wilson as the most impressive pitcher on the afternoon for the Rangers. "I wasn't trying to strike guys out," Francisco said. "I was trying to locate my pitches early in the count. But when I got two strikes, I went for it. They were swinging at my pitches." Nippert got in trouble in the 12th when Gabe Gross led off with a single and was bunted to second by Eric Patterson. But Pennington fouled out and Rosales struck out to end the inning. That put Nippert in position to be the winning pitcher when the Rangers finally scored in the bottom of the 12th. Nippert had been the losing pitcher in Tuesday's 13-inning loss to the Athletics, leaving him 1-3 with a 6.29 ERA on the season. Three losses were tied for the most by an American League reliever this season. "I was looking at my record after I got that loss," Nippert said, admitting he didn't like what he saw. "This was a good one and a good boost for me to get back on track."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.