OAKLAND, Calif. -- Derek Holland is still dealing with a lingering stomach virus that has caused him to drop an alarming 15 pounds in 2˝ weeks.
His velocity is dropping several miles per hour, too. The Texas left-hander pitched through the fatigue again Tuesday night, doing his part as the Rangers rebounded from an embarrassing rout a night earlier to beat the Oakland Athletics 6-3.
"It was my job to go out there as long as I could despite the fatigue," said Holland, who has cut dairy and eggs from his diet of late. "I'm not freaked out about it. I'm on some medication. I'm kind of puzzled by it."
"The thing I'm most proud of is we were aggressive on the basepaths," manager Ron Washington said.
Holland struck out two, walked two and allowed three runs on seven hits. That was a big improvement after he was knocked out in the second inning when he allowed eight earned runs in last Wednesday's 21-8 home loss to Seattle.
The Rangers managed a season-low three hits -- their fewest since also getting three Aug. 25, 2011, against Boston -- in Monday's 12-1 defeat that kicked off a full week of games in the Bay Area for the two-time reigning American League champions, who play a weekend interleague series at San Francisco.
"We had no ill effect from it," Washington said. "We bounced back today with a real aggressive ballgame."
This time, the Rangers had 11 hits and each batter had at least one while five different players drove in runs. Elvis Andrus hit an RBI single in the ninth as the final starter needing a hit.
Michael Young, who broke up Jarrod Parker's no-hit bid Monday with a leadoff single in the eighth, hit an RBI triple in the fifth to chase A's starter Travis Blackley (0-1). Former slugging first baseman Sean Doolittle relieved and made his major league debut. He struck out the first three batters he faced, including Nelson Cruz on a 96 mph fastball to finish the fifth before an impressive 1-2-3 sixth.
He stuck to all fastballs in his 21-pitch outing.
"It was really surreal. Still kind of sinking in, to be honest," Doolittle said. "I was so focused on controlling my breathing and trying to calm myself down that it didn't really let me get too worked up about the situation I was coming into or the guys that I was going to face."
Cowgill's clout followed a close play at first in which leadoff man Jemile Weeks was called out on a throw from second that pulled first baseman Mike Napoli off the bag. A's manager Bob Melvin came out to argue with first base umpire Scott Barry.
The Rangers pounded Blackley for five runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out five and walked two.
The Australian lefty, whose lone victory came way back on July 1, 2004, for Seattle against Texas, made his second start and fifth appearance for the A's since being claimed off waivers from San Francisco on May 15.
Kurt Suzuki hit a pair of doubles leading off innings for the A's, but struck out in the sixth with two runners on with Oakland down two runs. Oakland's Brandon Inge went 1 for 3 a night after hitting a three-run homer and driving in four runs.
Hamilton was 0 for 4 in the series before his double in Texas' three-run third. The slugger said before the game he won't participate in the Home Run Derby at next month's All-Star festivities in Kansas City in an effort to stay healthy for the Rangers.
Joe Nathan pitched the ninth for his 12th save in 13 opportunities, and 10th in a row.
"He's the Joe Nathan I saw in Minnesota and hated to see come into the ballgame," Washington said.
"That's what we signed him for," Melvin said.
A's reliever Andrew Carignan left the game in the eighth with a sore elbow. He will be re-evaluated Wednesday. ... Oakland SS Cliff Pennington had the night off. ... Washington is still listing Scott Feldman (0-4) as his Saturday starter. Newly acquired Roy Oswalt, a three-time All-Star signed to a minor league deal May 29, won't be rushed -- even if he is eager to join the Rangers and told the team he could have gone five innings instead of two in his first minor league appearance Saturday at Triple-A Round Rock. "We want Oswalt for the rest of the haul," Washington said. "That's a quality pitcher. We want quality outings." ... Rangers RHP Yu Darvish's impressions of the Oakland Coliseum: "It's very historic. There's a lot of history in this park." The Japanese star (7-3) starts Thursday's series finale here.