ARLINGTON, Texas Travis Blackley went nearly eight years between victories in the majors before the A's claimed him off waivers.
The left-hander now appears capable of winning every time he takes the mound.
Blackley picked off two runners and held a Texas lineup loaded with All-Stars to one run over seven innings Sunday as the A's beat the Rangers and Japanese ace Yu Darvish 3-1.
"I was just happy that someone gave me an opportunity again," said Blackley, picked up by Oakland in mid-May. "I've kind of pitched myself into staying here. Being down there for too long at Triple A, I just don't want to have to go back. So out of necessity, I've pitched well. I'm enjoying it here."
Darvish's wild pitch allowed the tiebreaking run to score in the sixth before Brandon Moss led off the next inning with a long home run.
The A's grabbed Blackley after he was designated for assignment by the Giants. He's 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in his past four starts, including a win June 15 against San Diego that was his first in the majors since July 1, 2004.
"For him to be pitching as well as he is at the big-league level is really a testament to a guy who has persevered," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "It's good to see a guy who's gone through a lot and worked so hard and now having success."
Blackley, 29, was once a top pitching prospect for the Seattle Mariners, then made it to the majors in 2004 before shoulder surgery forced him to miss the 2005 season. Except for two starts for San Francisco in 2007, he hadn't been in the majors until this year, pitching in his home country of Australia and then South Korea before he was with the Giants this spring.
Blackley struck out three and scattered seven hits.
After Craig Gentry's leadoff double in the sixth and then a passed ball, Blackley escaped that inning by retiring All-Stars Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus and Josh Hamilton on popups.
"He mixed it up pretty good," said Andrus, whose third-inning RBI single produced Texas' run. "We got a lot of guys on base, but we didn't get the hit to score. He kept us off-balance."
Hamilton, Adrian Beltre and Mike Napoli, the three Rangers selected by the fans as All-Star starters, were a combined 0 for 9 against Blackley.
"Right now, I'm pretty confident in my pitches," Blackley said. "I have the confidence that I can go out there and throw strikes."
Ryan Cook worked a perfect ninth for his seventh save in 10 chances.