ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Martin Perez pitched six solid innings for his sixth straight win, the first six Texas hitters reached for an early lead and the Rangers beat the Boston Red Sox 6-2 on Sunday.
Prince Fielder hit a two-run homer for the Rangers, who are 11-0-1 in series since getting swept at Oakland in mid-May. Texas improved to 8-1 in deciding games this season.
Perez (7-4) was working on a shutout before Bryce Brentz hit a solo drive with two out in the sixth for his first major league homer. The left-hander matched the longest winning streak of his career, from 2013.
Shin-Soo Choo, Ian Desmond, Nomar Mazara and Adrian Beltre opened Texas’ three-run first with four straight singles. The last two drove in a run apiece, to go along with Rougned Odor’s blooper to left against Clay Buchholz (3-8).
Choo had three hits and scored twice, the second time on another RBI single from Beltre.
The Rangers, who have the best record in the American League at 49-27, won a three-game series for the seventh time after dropping the opener.
Perez gave up six hits, walked two and struck out two.
David Ortiz pinch-hit with two runners on in the eighth inning of the retiring slugger’s final regular-season game in Texas, which prompted a move to lefty reliever Jake Diekman.
Ortiz pulled a run-scoring single through the shift in right before Travis Shaw flied out. Former closer Shawn Tolleson pitched a scoreless ninth for a Texas bullpen that surrendering four runs with two outs in the ninth of an 8-7 loss in the opener.
Buchholz issued two of his season-high five walks in the first inning of his second start since coming back from a brief demotion to the bullpen. He gave up seven hits and five runs — four earned — in 5 1/3 innings, falling to 1-6 against Texas.
Red Sox: Utility player Brock Holt is getting close to a return after missing 34 games with a concussion, but the plan is for a cautious approach when he does get back. “To say that once he comes back, he’s good to go five to six times a week, I think that might be a little aggressive right now,” manager John Farrell said.
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (1-2, 6.41 ERA) gets the opener of a three-game series at Tampa Bay on Monday night. He is winless in four straight starts since beating Baltimore 6-2 in his 2016 debut.
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