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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – The Texas Rangers continued their hot play Friday night, riding an impressive start by Martin Perez to a 4-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Appearing in his third game of the season, Rangers’ starter Martin Perez (2-1) went 6.2 shutout innings, striking out three and allowing six hits to collect his second win of the season.
“He’s throwing strikes. He’s pounding the strike zone – not getting caught in any patterns,” said manager Ron Washington following the game. ”He’s doing everything he needs to do to be successful.”
The Rangers have now won nine of 11 following a six-game home losing streak.
Texas jumped on Cincinnati starter Johnny Cueto (4-2) in the first inning. Elvis Andrus, appearing in his second game as the designated hitter, reached on a slow grounder to third baseman Todd Frazier. After stealing second, Andrus scored on a broken-bat single by third baseman Adrian Beltre to give the Rangers an early 1-0 lead.
The run marked the first time the Rangers had scored in the first inning since June 7 in Toronto, breaking a scoreless streak of 19 games, the longest drought by the team since 2004.
Cueto left the game after just three pitches in the third inning after experiencing tightness in his right lat. The right-hander has struggled with injuries this season, having twice spent time on the DL with various arm and shoulder injuries.
Reliever Tony Cingrani entered the game for the Reds and struggled through a 38-pitch inning. After striking out Mitch Moreland on a single pitch to complete the at-bat, Cingrani surrendered a single to David Murphy and walked four, including consecutive bases loaded walks to Andrus and Nelson Cruz. Beltre lined out to center to end the inning.
The Rangers extended their lead to 4-0 in the fifth inning on an RBI single by Jurickson Profar.
Profar added a pair of defensive gems at shortstop. In the third inning, the 20-year-old fielded a grounder in shallow left field and fired to first, narrowly throwing out catcher Devin Meroraco. Profar then robbed second baseman Brandon Phillips of a single up the middle in the fourth.
“Tremendous,” said Washington. “The kid can play. And he can certainly help us win some ballgames.”
Perez found trouble in the seventh, loading the bases on a walk to DH Chris Heisey. Jason Frasor, appearing in his first game since June 20, entered the game and forced a groundout to shortstop to end the threat.
- With his 2,131st start at third base, Adrian Beltre passed Ron Santo for eighth on MLB’s all-time list. Of the seven players ahead of Beltre, four are in the Hall of Fame.
- Jurickson Profar became the youngest player (20.127), Yankee or visitor, to hit a homerun at the new Yankee Stadium on Thursday.
- Lance Berkman has 52 homeruns against the Reds in his career, his most against any opponent and the most among active players.
- The Rangers have the best winning percentage in interleague play since 2010 (44-22, .667).
- Reliever Joakim Soria completed a successful inning of rehab with AAA Round Rock. In one inning, Soria threw 17 pitches, surrendering no runs on one hit with two strikeouts. He is set to appear again on Sunday.
- Leonys Martin extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a single in the sixth inning. He is hitting .405 during the streak.
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