06/26 19:10 CDT Perez, Rangers take another series with 6-2 win over Red Sox
Perez, Rangers take another series with 6-2 win over Red Sox
By SCHUYLER DIXON
AP Sports Writer
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) --- Martin Perez won his sixth straight decision and
helped the surging Texas Rangers to yet another series victory.
The left-hander kept rolling despite a bout with control issues that had his
manager questioning his body language on the mound.
Perez pitched six solid innings while working behind a number of hitters, the
first six Texas batters reached for an early lead and the Rangers beat the
Boston Red Sox 6-2 on Sunday.
"The thing that I like is that he continues to search and find ways to get
himself out of the inning," manager Jeff Banister said. "He seemed to throw
just enough strikes to get them into swing mode. There's still a learning
process, but it's getting better."
Prince Fielder hit a two-run homer for the Rangers, who are 11-0-1 in series
since getting swept at Oakland in mid-May. Texas improved to 8-1 in deciding
games this season.
Perez (7-4) was working on a shutout before Bryce Brentz hit a solo drive with
two out in the sixth for his first major league homer. Perez matched the
longest winning streak of his career, from 2013, despite throwing more balls
than strikes into the fifth inning.
"Sometimes with the first pitch, trying to throw a strike and sometimes to push
the ball there," said Perez, who improved to 6-1 in Arlington. "And I can't do
that anymore. Sometimes you're trying to push the ball and you miss. You miss
close, but you miss."
Shin-Soo Choo, Ian Desmond, Nomar Mazara and Adrian Beltre opened Texas'
three-run first with four straight singles. The last two drove in a run apiece,
to go along with Rougned Odor's blooper to left against Clay Buchholz (3-8).
Choo had three hits and scored twice, the second time on another RBI single
"In the first inning, it wasn't really a whole lot of balls that were hit hard,
they were just hit where we weren't," Buchholz said. "That was basically the
The Rangers, who have the best record in the American League at 49-27, won a
three-game series for the seventh time after dropping the opener.
Perez gave up six hits, walked two and struck out two.
Buchholz issued two of his season-high five walks in the first inning of his
second start since coming back from a brief demotion to the bullpen. He gave up
seven hits and five runs --- four earned --- in 5 1/3 innings, falling to 1-6
"There was a stretch where we've seen in a number of his starts where he was
very good, but there's an inning inside of it that's the one you can point to,"
manager John Farrell said.
ONE MORE TIME
David Ortiz pinch-hit with two runners on in the eighth inning of the retiring
slugger's final regular-season game in Texas. It prompted a move to lefty
reliever Jake Diekman and a standing ovation from the crowd, including plenty
of Rangers fans.
Ortiz pulled a run-scoring single through the shift in right before Travis Shaw
flied out. Former closer Shawn Tolleson pitched a scoreless ninth for a Texas
bullpen that surrendered four runs with two outs in the ninth of an 8-7 loss in
Red Sox: Utility player Brock Holt is getting close to a return after missing
34 games with a concussion, but the plan is for a cautious approach when he
does get back. "To say that once he comes back, he's good to go five to six
times a week, I think that might be a little aggressive right now," Farrell
said before the game.
Rangers: RHP Yu Darvish (right shoulder discomfort) threw 30 pitches in a
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (1-2, 6.41 ERA) gets the opener of a three-game
series at Tampa Bay on Monday night. He is winless in four straight starts
since beating Baltimore 6-2 in his 2016 debut.
Rangers: RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez is set for his first appearance of the season in
the opener of a four-game series at the Yankees on Monday night. He was 3-5
with a 4.03 ERA in 10 starts as a rookie last year. Texas optioned lefty
reliever Alex Claudio to Triple-A Round Rock after Sunday's game to make room