HOUSTON (AP) — Martin Perez threw a four-hitter for his first career complete game, leading the Texas Rangers to their seventh straight victory, 6-1 over the Houston Astros on Sunday.
Chris Carter ruined Perez’s shutout bid with a home run with two outs in the ninth inning.
Alex Rios had two hits, drove in a run and scored twice in his second game with the Rangers, who have won 12 of their last 13 games. Adrian Beltre also had two hits.
Perez (5-3) struck out a career-high eight while walking two in earning his second straight win. Perez has allowed four runs over his last 22 2-3 innings, spanning his last three starts.
Perez retired 15 of 17 batters from the third to the eighth, including nine in a row before Jake Elmore’s single with two outs in the eighth.
Dallas Keuchel (5-7) allowed six runs and eight hits with eight strikeouts in 8 2-3 innings. He was the second Astros starter to go into the ninth this season, as Bud Norris threw eight-plus innings May 8 against the Los Angeles Angels.
Keuchel set down the first 13 batters before Rios beat out a grounder to short with one out in the fifth for the Rangers’ first hit.
Geovany Soto then put the Rangers ahead 1-0 with a ground-rule double to center field.
Rios laced a two-out double down the right-field line in the sixth to extend the lead to 2-0. Elvis Andrus reached on an error with one out and advanced to second on Beltre’s single before scoring on Rios’ double.
Texas upped the lead to 5-0 in the ninth on Jurickson Profar’s based-loaded single with two outs, plating Rios and Jeff Baker. Craig Gentry came around to score on an errant thrown by L.J. Hoes, and Profar scored on Leonys Martin’s single to make it 6-0.
Houston has lost five in a row and nine of the last 10 games. The Astros own the worst record in the majors at 37-79.
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