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ARLINGTON (AP) — Struggling sluggers Prince Fielder and Mitch Moreland homered during Texas’ four-run fourth inning, and the Rangers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-2 on Sunday for their eighth straight series victory at home.
Texas starter Martin Perez (3-4), with a history of getting rattled in jams, escaped an inning with a runner at third and no outs for the second consecutive start. The left-hander gave up two runs in six innings and finished May with a 2.23 ERA.
Fielder ended a 34-game homer drought with his third of the season leading off the fourth. Moreland, who stopped a 1-for-27 skid with a homer Saturday, hit a three-run shot halfway up the upper deck in right field for his sixth, making it 4-2.
Pittsburgh lefty Francisco Liriano (4-4) had yet to give up a homer to a left-handed hitter this season.
Texas closer Sam Dyson, pitching in a non-save situation for the second straight day, capped three scoreless innings from the bullpen with two strikeouts in the ninth. The Rangers (29-21) moved a season-high eight games over .500.
Perez twice escaped without allowing a run when the first two hitters reached for the Pirates, who dropped their second interleague series of the season.
Francisco Cervelli’s single in the fourth was followed by a double from Sean Rodriguez, but Perez got Matt Joyce and Chris Stewart on groundouts that kept the runners in place before throwing a called third strike to Jordy Mercer.
After Starling Marte’s walk and another single from Cervelli to start the sixth, Rodriguez flew out, Joyce struck out and Stewart grounded out.
David Freese’s solo homer, his fourth of the season, gave the Pirates a 2-0 lead in the fourth.
Liriano, who had won four straight starts against Texas, gave up six hits and five runs with four walks and six strikeouts in six innings. He last faced the Rangers in September 2013 in Arlington, when he beat Perez 5-4.
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