Martinez bounces back with one-hit outing

Martinez bounces back with one-hit outing

OAKLAND -- Nick Martinez snapped his personal two-game losing streak the old-fashioned way: He earned it.

Martinez rebounded from his worst outing of the season by allowing one hit over six shutout innings, and the Rangers beat the Athletics, 2-1, Tuesday night for their 16th win in 21 games.

"He has great conviction in all his pitches," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "He's had a good feel for pitching, and he continues to get better."

The Rangers improved to a franchise-best 20-12 on the road after 32 games and inched within two games of the AL West-leading Astros. It's the closest the Rangers have been to the top since April 19.

"I got back to being the type of pitcher I am," Martinez said. "I was attacking hitters to both sides of the plate and tried to limit mistakes as much as possible."

Martinez (5-2) left the game leading 2-0. The bullpen gave up one run but slammed the door the rest of the way. In his past two starts, he left trailing 7-0 and 2-0. All he needed was a little run support.

"I try to identify the situation and commit to the pitch I want to throw," he said.

Martinez has left four other games this season with a lead or with the game tied, ending up with a no-decision in each of them, even though the Rangers came back to win all four.

"The last year and a half or so, he's been one of the best pitchers in the American League," A's manager Bob Melvin said.

As the Major League Draft continues into its third day, Martinez is a reminder that gems are hidden throughout. The Rangers took him in the 18th round of the 2011 draft.

Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.