Texas at Oakland

W: M. Perez (4-0) L: S. Gray (3-1)
HR: TEX - D. Murphy (1)   OAK - None

Perez tosses second straight shutout, Rangers riddle A's

CBSSports.com wire reports

OAKLAND, Calif. -- With the Texas rotation ravaged by injuries early in the season, Martin Perez has more than filled the void.

Perez pitched his second consecutive shutout to extend his scoreless innings streak to 26 and the Texas Rangers wrapped up a three-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics with a 3-0 victory Wednesday.

''He's been the glue,'' manager Ron Washington said. ''He's held it together. He's the one guy in that rotation who's been in it from last year who hasn't had a blip yet.''

The Rangers have been without Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis already at times this season but still find themselves in first place thanks to some strong play from fill-ins and major improvement from Perez.

Perez (4-0) outpitched Sonny Gray (3-1) in a heralded matchup of emerging stars, allowing just three hits and two walks in his first start since throwing a three-hitter against the White Sox for his first career shutout.

''I don't want to think too much about my ERA and the games that I've thrown before,'' Perez said. ''I'm going to focus on my game today. We had a great game.''

Perez, who also threw eight scoreless innings against Houston on April 13, is the first Rangers pitcher to have three straight scoreless starts since Kenny Rogers had four straight over 30 innings in 2005. Perez also joined Charlie Hough in 1983 as the only Texas pitchers to have three straight starts of at least eight scoreless innings.

''He knows how to pitch,'' Washington said. ''He has weapons and he can throw them all for strikes and he has poise. He does a great job of staying with the game plan and that's something that he's learned from last year, how to study, how to go out there and just execute his pitches.''

Donnie Murphy homered and Michael Choice scored one run and drove in another for the Rangers, who moved a half-game ahead of Oakland in the AL West with their first sweep of the A's since August 2011.

The A's never even threatened Perez on their way to getting swept at home for the first time since September 2012 against the Angels, ending a streak of 32 straight home series with at least one win.

''You're going to have your little lumps in the road,'' A's third baseman Josh Donaldson said. ''Everybody knows that here. We just have to come back.''

Oakland got leadoff singles from Jed Lowrie in the fourth and Derek Norris in the fifth for its first two hits off Perez. But Perez followed each of those hits by getting the next batter to hit into a double play, giving him a major league-leading 11 groundball double plays.

Donaldson doubled with one out in the seventh, but was stranded there when Alberto Callaspo grounded out with runners on first and second to end the inning.

''He keeps the ball off the barrel of the bat,'' A's manager Bob Melvin said. ''He's pitched really well this year. The reason he can get deep in games is he's not striking a lot of guys out, he's just keeping it off the barrel of the bat.''

Gray allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings to end a six-game winning streak in the regular season dating to last September.

He fell behind when Choice led the game off with a walk and scored on Alex Rios' triple. The Rangers were poised for a possible big inning when Rios was originally ruled safe at home on a grounder Lowrie at shortstop. But Melvin challenged the call and Rios was ruled out on instant replay.

Choice, traded from Oakland to Texas in the offseason, added an RBI single in the fifth and Murphy hit his first homer of the season in the sixth to make it 3-0.


Rangers 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff was held out with a sore back. ... Scott Kazmir (2-0) will take the mound against Brett Oberholtzer (0-3) on Thursday when Oakland opens a four-game series in Houston. ... Texas is off Thursday before beginning a three-game series in Seattle on Friday.

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Rangers lefty Martin Perez throws his second consecutive shutout to extend his scoreless innings streak to 26. (Getty Images)
Rangers lefty Martin Perez throws his second consecutive shutout to extend his scoreless innings streak to 26. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game

M. Perez
IP 9.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 2
K 3

S. Gray
IP 7.0
H 5
ER 3
BB 4
K 8

Related Video

Texas Rangers
Michael Choice, LF4111122 .242
Elvis Andrus, SS4000115 .271
Alex Rios, RF4011022 .318
Prince Fielder, 1B3000111 .200
Mitch Moreland, DH2000201 .245
Donnie Murphy, 2B4111003 .240
Robinson Chirinos, C4010020 .205
Leonys Martin, CF4110020 .300
Josh Wilson, 3B3020010 .325
Martin Perez, P0000000 .000
3B - Alex Rios (1, Gray)
HR - Donnie Murphy (1, Gray)
SH - Josh Wilson (2)
RBI - Michael Choice (5), Alex Rios (11), Donnie Murphy (7)
2-OUT RBI - Donnie Murphy (4)
SB - Josh Wilson (1, 2nd base off Johnson/Norris)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Andrus-Murphy-Fielder, Andrus-Murphy-Fielder-Perez-Andrus-Fielder
Texas Rangers
Martin Perez (W,4-0) 9300230 1.42
Pitches-Strikes - Martin Perez 109-64
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Martin Perez 15-7
Batters Faced - Martin Perez 30
Oakland Athletics
Craig Gentry, CF4000010 .304
Jed Lowrie, SS4010000 .264
Josh Donaldson, 3B3010101 .269
Yoenis Cespedes, LF3000002 .241
Derek Norris, C2010100 .282
Alberto Callaspo, DH3000003 .284
Josh Reddick, RF3000010 .210
Nick Punto, 2B3000000 .242
Daric Barton, 1B3000010 .139
Sonny Gray, P0000000 .000
   Drew Pomeranz, P0000000 .000
   Jim Johnson, P0000000 .000
2B - Josh Donaldson (8, Perez)
Team LOB - 3
DP - Donaldson-Punto-Barton, Donaldson-Punto-Barton-Punto-Donaldson-Barton
E - Nick Punto (2, Misplayed grounder)
Oakland Athletics
Sonny Gray (L,3-1) 7533481 2.25
Drew Pomeranz 1000120 1.93
Jim Johnson 1200010 6.30
WP - Sonny Gray (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Sonny Gray 108-66, Drew Pomeranz 17-12, Jim Johnson 15-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Sonny Gray 6-6, Drew Pomeranz 1-0, Jim Johnson 2-0
Batters Faced - Sonny Gray 29, Drew Pomeranz 4, Jim Johnson 5
Game Information
Attendance - 18340
Game Time - 2:35
Temperature - 59
Umpires - Home - Larry Vanover, First Base - Angel Hernandez, Second Base - Paul Nauert, Third Base - Adrian Johnson