Samardzija has been outstanding lately and another such performance Saturday night against the Texas Rangers would likely give the A's a third straight playoff appearance.Oakland (87-73) acquired Samardzija (5-5, 2.92 ERA) in a six-player trade with the Chicago Cubs on July 4 with an eye on October.The A's are two games ahead of Seattle in the race for the final wild card and one in back of Kansas City for the top spot. Oakland needs one win in its final two games or a loss by the Mariners to clinch a playoff spot.Samardzija, who hasn't appeared in the postseason since 2008, is doing all he can to get the A's there, stringing together a stretch of 23 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run. He's given up one overall over his last three starts, but owns just a 1-0 record since closer Sean Doolittle blew the save in two of them with the second coming in a 6-1 loss to Texas on Sept. 17.Samardzija went eight innings before Doolittle surrendered five runs in the ninth.The A's gave Samardzija plenty of help to avoid such a scenario Monday, when he allowed an unearned run in seven innings of an 8-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels."This last month's been fun for me. It's a new situation for me, and something I've been asking for a long time," Samardzija said. "I got in this situation and I want to take advantage of it. Opportunities aren't guaranteed and they don't come around too often, so you don't want to waste them."Pitching on the road hasn't fazed Samardzija, who has posted a 2.66 ERA in six away starts with Oakland. However, he's been backed by two or fewer runs in four of those games, contributing to his 1/3 record.The A's ended a four-game losing streak to Texas (66-94) with a 6-2 victory Friday. Josh Reddick hit a solo homer and a two-run single to improve to 9 for 21 with six RBIs in six games.The Rangers, winners of 12 of 14, are turning to Derek Holland (2-0, 1.31), who has been terrific through five starts since returning from offseason knee surgery. The left-hander has reached the seventh in each outing, including allowing one run in 6 1/3 innings while not getting a decision in a 6-1 win at Oakland on Sept. 17.That's the only time Holland has failed to complete the seventh, and it was a challenge to get that far in Monday's 4-3 win over Houston. He allowed three runs and seven hits for his worst performance since returning."The main thing was that I didn't have my best stuff but I went out there and pitched," Holland said. "I made sure to bear down when I needed to."Holland has allowed nine runs and four homers in six innings over his last two home starts against the A's. Two of those homers were hit by Josh Donaldson, who is 6 for 17 (.353) with a pair of doubles in their matchups.The third baseman hurt his left knee trying to field a grounder Friday, but he remained in the game and had two hits."His knee is a little sore. We can deal with that," manager Bob Melvin said.