ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — JP Sears navigated through trouble and carried a no-hit bid into the seventh inning Thursday in the Oakland Athletics’ game against the World Series champion Texas Rangers.

Sears faced nine batters with runners on base after issuing leadoff walks in the first, second and fifth innings. But the 28-year-old left-hander — and Oakland — emerged unscathed in a 1-0, one-hit win over Texas, a possible sign that these A’s are different from those who have piled up losses in record fashion in recent seasons.

“We’re just trying to win the day every day,” said Sears, who left the game after allowing a one-out single to left field by Adolis García. “I think when you’re kind of counted out, it’s pretty easy to just kind of put your head down and work hard and just do your job.”

The A’s (5-8) closed out a 4-2 road trip to Detroit and Texas, taking two of three from last season’s MLB champs. Last season, the Athletics won one road trip the entire season on the way to a franchise-worst 50-112 record. The 2022 A’s, who finished 60-102, didn’t win a single road trip.

“That’s a really good offense over there, World Series champions,” Sears said. “Any day that we get a win from them or get a series from them is awesome.”

Sears (1-1) had thrown 81 pitches through six innings. His career-high pitch count is 112, thrown in 4 2/3 inning on June 5, 2023, against Pittsburgh in a 5-4 loss.

Oakland manager Mark Kotsay kept a close watch on the pitch count, given the season is only weeks old.

“In the sixth at 80 pitches, you kind of get a good idea if this was going to happen it was probably going to be 100-plus,” Kotsay said. “And to do that early in the year, it would have put a lot of stress on him. But at the same point, you know the momentum of the game and the starter being dominant. I was really just waiting for that first hit. Adolis got that hit and made the decision pretty easy.”

Sears is the only starter back from the 2023 Oakland opening day rotation. He led the team with 32 starts, also with 14 losses with five wins. He tied for the fourth-most home runs allowed in the majors (34) and led the majors in hit batters (16). He struck out 161 in 172 1/3 innings last season and entered Thursday’s game with an 8.68 ERA.

“That start was great,” Kotsay said. “You could just see the composure today. When he did have a leadoff walk, he got back in the zone. That’s the type of maturation we’re looking for from these types of young starters, and he showed that today for sure.”