Martín Pérez threw another gem and the Texas offense had an explosive ninth inning, as the Rangers won their second straight, beating the Los Angeles Angels 7-2 on Friday night.
The Rangers (45-54) have turned things around in Anaheim after losing one-run games against the Seattle Mariners on Monday and Tuesday, plus getting swept by the Mariners. The Rangers also beat the Angels (42-58) on Thursday in a 2-0 shutout.
The Rangers had a 2-1 lead going into the ninth inning before batting around and scoring five runs. It has as much to do with the Texas offense as the Angels’ inability to make a defensive play.
While the Rangers were beating the Angels, the Mariners were dealing four prospects to the Cincinnati Reds for starting pitcher Luis Castillo.
The Rangers were reportedly in “the mix” for Castillo, but weren’t able to put close a deal.
Pérez (9-2) showed the Rangers they have at least one starter they can count on, as he extended his win streak to nine games.
Pérez retired the first 13 hitters he faced and cruised through the first five innings, as Jo Adell broke up the perfect game with a double with one out in the bottom of the fifth.
He hit a bump in the sixth, giving up a run off Luis Rengifo’s single, which brought home Brandon Marsh. That cut the Rangers’ lead by a run, as Marsh got on base via a walk, with the ball four call drawing a disapproving smile from Pérez.
“When we score runs and I’m pitching I just try to go deep,” Pérez said. “I don’t take anything for granted. I just try to throw my pitches and get out of there so we can score more runs.”
He made it through seven innings, giving up three hits, the run and two walks. He also struck outs six. Matt Moore threw a scoreless eighth and Matt Bush pitched the ninth, as he gave up a leadoff hit to Rengifo, who later scored on an error on Rangers first baseman Nathaniel Lowe as he attempted to field a hit by the Jared Walsh.
The Rangers grabbed the lead in the top of the sixth, scoring two runs off Angels starter Patrick Sandoval (3-7). Marcus Semien hit what at first glance looked like an inside-the-park home run. But it was scored a double with a two-base error by Adell, who mishandled the ball while trying to pick it up.
Later, Jonah Heim drew a two-out walk and scored from first on Adolis García’s double, making it 2-0.
The Rangers blew things open in the ninth inning, all with two outs and some of it at the expense of fundamental plays the Angels couldn’t make that could have ended the inning.
Ezequiel Duran hit an RBI double to score Josh Smith, who came off the bench midway through the game and finished with two hits. Semien hit a grounder to Rengifo at shortstop, which he mishandled for an error and that scored Kole Calhoun. Then a wild pitch by Angels reliever Elvis Peguero allowed Duran to score from third.
Leody Taveras followed with a towering pop-up down the left-field line that was originally called foul. But after review, it was changed to fair and Semien scored from third and Taveras got an RBI single. Taveras advanced to second on a wild pitch and Heim brought him home with a ground-rule double to make it 7-1 Texas.
Duran started at second base and Semien at shortstop in place of Corey Seager, who did not start on Friday due to a lower left leg contusion suffered Thursday. The Rangers removed him afterward as a precaution, but he left that game having gone 3-for-3. He could return for the Rangers this weekend.
Texas continues its four-game series with the Angels on Saturday. Glenn Otto is expected to start on Saturday, with Dane Dunning expected to start on Sunday.
The Rangers finally return home for a seven-game homestand on Monday, beginning with a three-game set with the Orioles, where Jon Gray will be the expected starter.
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