ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — It wasn’t a good game for the Texas Rangers, but it wasn’t a bad game either… until the start of the sixth.

Wily Peralta threw seven scoreless innings in his longest big league outing since 2016 and the Detroit Tigers beat the Rangers 7-3 on Monday night.

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No. 9 batter Zack Short homered for the Tigers, who have won three in a row and five of six. Former Rangers outfielder Nomar Mazara twice drove in a run without a hit.

Peralta (2-1), back in the majors only three weeks, struck out six without a walk while throwing 61 of 91 pitches for strikes. The right-hander allowed only three hits in his fourth start for Detroit.

“I know that if I’m healthy 100%, I’m going to be able to do my job, and that’s what I’m doing right now. I’m thankful to the team for this opportunity,” Peralta said. “I just need to get used to (starting) again, and right now I feel very comfortable.”

Kolby Allard (2-5) struck out a career-high nine in his 5 1/3 innings, and only two of the five runs scored against the Texas lefty were earned.

The Rangers avoided a shutout with back-to-back homers with two outs in the ninth off reliever Bryan Garcia. All-Star right fielder Joey Gallo’s 21st homer was an opposite-field, two-run shot to left before Jonah Heim also went deep.

“Outside of Kolby and a couple of homers in the ninth, that was probably our worst game of the year,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “We didn’t really stick to the plan we talked about with Peralta. He was good, don’t get me wrong. He mixed up his speeds and executed some pitches.”

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The 32-year-old Peralta was released by Kansas City midseason two years ago and spent all of 2020 as a free agent before going to spring training this year with the Tigers on a minor league deal and starting the season at Triple-A Toledo.

“He was late to camp, and didn’t get an opportunity, but hung with us until we needed him, and it’s big for him and big for our team,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “Hard to complain about anything that’s he’s doing right now.”

Peralta made 120 starts for Milwaukee from his debut in 2012 until the Brewers moved him to the bullpen midway through the 2017 season, and was a reliever for all 79 of his games for the Royals in 2018 and 2019. He hadn’t pitched at least seven innings since back-to-back starts in 2016 (Aug. 30 and Sept. 6).

Detroit went ahead to stay in the fourth when Miguel Cabrera had a leadoff single and later scored as Mazara reached on a fielder’s choice grounder.

The Tigers scored five times in the sixth, the first two runs coming when first baseman Nate Lowe was charged with two errors on a ball hit by Mazara with the bases loaded. Lowe misplayed the grounder, then tossed the ball toward an unoccupied first base, allowing another run to score and ending Allard’s night.

Willi Castro had a RBI sac bunt on the first pitch by reliever Brett Martin, and two pitches later Short’s second homer of the season was a two-run shot that made it 6-0. Short, who had struck out in six consecutive at-bats before going deep, added a sac fly in the eighth.

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CBSDFW.com Staff