More mound brilliance from Martin Perez on Wednesday and more contributions from unexpected sources at the plate resulted in the Texas Rangers finishing off a three-game sweep of the Oakland A’s. Perez tossed his second consecutive three-hit shutout, and Donnie Murphy hit his first homer of the season to help the Rangers beat the A’s 3-0 at O.Co Coliseum. It’s only April, when players say it’s far too early to look at the standings, but the Rangers now lead the American League West after winning eight of their past nine games. The win Wednesday was the Rangers’ easiest of the series, but it wasn’t that easy. The Rangers scored single runs in the first, fifth and sixth innings, and had to overcome the loss of a run via video challenge in the first inning. Perez struggled some with his command despite the flashy pitching line. Twice in the second inning he had three-ball counts against hitters but recorded outs. At one point in the fourth, he had thrown as many balls (22) as strikes. But he didn’t allow a hit until Jed Lowrie started the fourth with a single. Derek Norris was credited with a single to start the fifth on a chopper that deflected off third baseman Josh Wilson. Both singles, though, were quickly wiped out as the next batters bounced into double plays, Nos. 10 and 11 this season for Perez. He had 13 in 20 starts last season. The A’s put together a threat in the seventh, when Josh Donaldson doubled with one out and Derek Norris walked with two. But Perez got Alberto Callaspo to bound into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
Martin Perez pitches Rangers to sweep of A’s
Fort Worth Star-Telegram | Apr 24