ARLINGTON -- Rangers right-hander Bartolo Colon battled through seven innings against the A's on Thursday night at Globe Life Park, but finds himself still searching for milestone win No. 246.
Colon allowed six runs on nine hits in the Rangers' 7-6 loss to the A's. It is the fourth consecutive loss for the 45-year-old veteran, who needs one win to pass Nicaragua's Dennis Martinez for the most all-time by a Latin American-born pitcher.
"I don't think about it. If it's going to come, it's going to come," Colon said. "If it comes, I'll get it."
Colon got into trouble in the first inning, when Khris Davis dropped a two-run single into right field to give the A's a two-run lead. Colon was also hit hard in the fourth inning, when he allowed RBI triples to Dustin Fowler and Nick Martini, and an RBI single to Marcus Semien.
After the early damage, Colon settled in, retiring 10 of the final 12 batters he faced and eating up innings for a Rangers bullpen that has been heavily worked since coming off the All-Star break.
"Very gutsy performance," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said of Colon's outing. "We thought Bartolo, again, does what he does best, the fastball-changeup combo, moving the ball around. … 100-plus pitches, gave us some range."
When Colon returned to the dugout after the seventh inning, Banister came over to him on the bench and they had an extended conversation. Colon was at 106 pitches, but Banister wanted to see if he could go any longer.
"I talked to him, and he was still willing to go out and pitch," Banister said. "Said he felt good, was still making pitches. However, it just got to a point where the pitch count, and future starts for Bartolo, are extremely important to us. Really, I thought he did a solid job tonight with that fastball-changeup combo when he's on."
Offensively, the Rangers did their best to back Colon, as they tied the game twice. Adrian Beltre hit an RBI single and Joey Gallo scored Rougned Odor on a groundout in the first inning to tie the game at 2, and with the Rangers trailing, 3-2, in the second, Shin-Soo Choo scored Ronald Guzman on a single.
Although Colon found a groove, the early damage still proved to be too much for Texas to overcome.
"I felt good," Colon said. "The most important thing is that I was able to battle at the end and give us a chance to win. We'll see it next time."
In the ninth, the Rangers threatened to rally against closer Blake Treinen, trailing by one. Beltre reached on a leadoff single and later advanced to second on a wild pitch, but Treinen retired the next three batters to earn his 27th save of the season.
With the loss, the Rangers were swept for the sixth time this season. They have lost five consecutive series and are 4-16 in July.
Colon completed seven innings for the eighth time this season, four more than any other pitcher on the staff. He also has issued two or fewer walks in all 19 of his starts this season, which is the second-longest season-opening streak by a Texas starter in team history. Rick Honeycutt went 20 starts with two or fewer walks in 1981.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
With two outs in the first and the Rangers trailing 2-0, left fielder Gallo made a strong throw to the plate to get Davis at home and keep it a two-run deficit. Gallo's throw to home was 98.6 mph, per Statcast™.
The Rangers will open a three-game series against the Astros at 7:10 p.m. CT on Friday at Minute Maid Park. Right-hander Yovani Gallardo (4-1, 7.18 ERA) will start in the series opener. He's 16-5 with a 3.24 ERA in 26 career games (23 starts) against the Astros, his most wins against any club. Houston will counter with left-hander Dallas Keuchel (8-8, 3.53).