Perez and right-hander Alexi Ogando combined to shut out the
Astros in a 1-0 victory on Sunday afternoon in a game that took all
of 2 hours, 15 minutes.
Perez (2-0) picked up his second victory of the season by outdueling
Astros left-hander Brett Oberholtzer and limiting Houston (5-8) to
five hits over eight innings. He struck out five and walked three.
The young lefty used four double play balls to erase base runners in
seven of his eight innings.
"His forte is keeping the ball down," said Rangers manager Ron
Washington, whose team took two of three from Houston. "He had a
good changeup working today, good breaking ball, he was able to spot
his fastball down in the zone where he wanted it and was able to
make pitches when he had to.
"He just continues to grow and we're watching it before our eyes."
Ogando recorded his first save.
Second baseman Donnie Murphy accounted for the game's only run,
driving in Josh Wilson with a sacrifice fly in the sixth. The
Rangers improved to 6-6.
Murphy was a replacement for shortstop Elvis Andrus, who was ejected
by home plate umpire Alan Porter in the third inning for arguing
balls and strikes. Wilson moved from second to short defensively.
The game marked the first time in Rangers history to have more than
one 1-0 victory in a series.
Olberholtzer (1-2) struck out seven and did not issue a walk over
seven innings, but the Astros continued to have trouble scoring
runs. Houston has averaged only three runs a game in the early going
The Astros were shut out in two of three against Texas this weekend.
"Olberholtzer was outstanding," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "Our
starters did an outstanding job this entire series. The three starts
they gave us put is in position to win all three games.
"You have to put some runs on the board and put some pressure on the
other team. We need to get it going."
Much of the Astros' struggles on Sunday were related to Perez, who
appeared as relaxed with runners on base than without.
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Perez worked around the Astros' baserunners, including inducing four
"You got to throw strikes with runners on base. You have to make a
pitch and trust your stuff," Perez said. "I kept it down and threw
Said Porter: "He mixed and matched pretty good. He kept us
off-balanced. He got us into some predictable fastball counts and
threw us changeups and we were out front.
Third baseman Matt Dominguez reached with a leadoff single in the
fifth but was thrown out trying to steal second. Shortstop Jonathan
Villar was also caught, in the second.
Third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff was 2-for-4 with a double for Texas.
"I was just trying to put the ball in play, preferably in the air,"
Murphy said. "Just get something and hit it hard and get a run.
"It's always nice when you don't start the game to contribute like
that, especially in a 1-0 win."
NOTES: The North Texas area was pelted with rain all morning. The
start of the game appeared in doubt because of a steady shower, but
the rain subsided moments before LHP Martin Perez's first pitch. ...
Rangers leadoff hitter DH Shin-Soo Choo was ruled out on an
instant-replay review. Umpire Joe West initially called Choo safe as
it appeared 2B Jose Altuve's throw drew 1B Jesus Guzman off the bag.
The replay delay was 44 seconds. ... Rangers SS Elvis Andrus was
ejected in the third for arguing balls and strikes. ... Perez is one
of eight pitchers with eight victories since Aug. 1, the third most
in the majors during that time. ... Houston's 5-7 start is the
team's best through 12 games since 2007.
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