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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – The Martin Perez winning streak is finally over.
Andrew McCutchen drove in three runs and the Rangers ninth-inning rally came up just short as the Pirates snapped Perez’ six-game winning streak with a 5-4 win on Tuesday night in Arlington.
The Rangers deficit in the AL West remained at 2 games after Oakland fell to Minnesota 4-3.
Perez’ streak of six consecutive wins represented the longest Rangers streak since 2005, when Kenny Rogers won eight in a row.
Trailing 5-2 entering the ninth, Texas mounted a two-out rally after Leonys Martin reached on a broken bat single. Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus, and Alex Rios all singled in succession to bring the score to 5-4.
Adrian Beltre, who had two hits on the evening, struck out swinging to end the game. The third baseman has struggled as of late and entered the game with just two hits over his last six games.
“We know what his track record is and we know what he’s capable of doing,” said manager Ron Washington after the game. “Right now, the game is finding him and he’s challenged. He’s the kind of guy that always rises to a challenge.”
The Rangers offense couldn’t solve Pirates starter Francisco Liriano (16-7), who finished the game with five strikeouts, yielding a single run on six hits in six innings.
Ian Kinsler’s runs scoring double in the fifth inning snapped a 15-inning drought of no extra base hits or runs for the team.
Jordy Mercer added four hits and a run for the Pirates, who clinched the series with Tuesday’s win. The Rangers have now lost four consecutive series for the second time this season.
Perez struggled with his control, as Pirates hitters went 4-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
“Location. You have to locate your balls,” said Perez. “When you don’t have location, you have a problem. That’s what I have to work on.”
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