Ah the beauty of baseball in Arlington - run-fests that could get out of hand at any moment.

The A's shot out to a seven-run lead over their nearest division rivals on Friday mashing three home runs in the process - and then they hung on for dear life as the Rangers came roaring back coming away with a precarious 9-8 victory after a late bullpen meltdown.

"A win is a win period" Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "The eighth inning wasn't pretty - it kind of had a Friday the 13th feel to it."

The A's are a season-high 25 games over .500 and they increased their lead over Texas in the AL West to 4 1/2 games. They've won six of their past seven and 14 of their past 18. The Rangers whose cause was hurt by a bad call by third-base umpire Andy Fletcher in the eighth inning have dropped seven of their past eight and nine of 11.

The A's have scored 35 runs in the past three games and on Friday Yoenis Céspedes blasted a three-run homer to center field in the first inning and Josh Donaldson banged a solo shot in the third inning. Donaldson added a two-run double the following inning and Brandon Moss hit his 27th homer in the sixth.

Donaldson reached base four times with his dad Levon watching him play for the first time. Levon Donaldson was in prison for most of his son's youth.

"It was fun. It was nice for him to be here and see that - that's the first time he's ever seen me in any sport" Donaldson said. "He was sitting right behind third base and he's not shy. He likes to talk so I heard him during the game."

"He done real good" Levon Donaldson said with a big grin after the game. "There's no telling what I was saying - I was cheering for my boy."

In the past 16 games Donaldson is batting .383 with three homers 14 runs and 12 RBIs and he leads the team with 87 RBIs. Céspedes has driven in runs in a career-high seven straight games and his 23 homers match his total from his superb rookie season. Moss' homers are a career high and lead the team.