ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Martin Perez worked seven strong innings, Adolis Garcia, Ezequiel Duran and Jonah Heim had RBI doubles and the Texas Rangers broke open a close contest in the ninth inning to win consecutive games for the second time this month, beating the Los Angeles Angels 7-2 Friday night.
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Luis Rengifo had an RBI single for the Angels, who have a total of nine hits and two runs in the first two games of a four-game series.
Shohei Ohtani went 0 for 4, one night after he pitched six innings while giving up two runs. The Angels lost for the eighth time in their last 11 games as reports circulated that the club is at least listening to trade offers for their two-way superstar.
Still without Mike Trout, who hasn’t played since July 12 because of a back injury, the Angels did not have a hit against Perez until Jo Adell doubled in the fifth inning.
“I thought he was going to throw a perfect game, honestly, the way he was throwing the ball early,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said of Perez. “He hit a little bit of adversity, obviously, in the sixth and seventh (innings), but man this guy has been special all year.”
The Rangers got on the scoreboard in the sixth with the help of Adell. Marcus Semien doubled into the left-field corner, with the ball rebounding off the wall and slipping through Adell’s legs. He then dropped the ball while attempting to pick it up with his bare hand, allowing Semien to race all the way around the bases.
Two batters after Semien scored, Jonah Heim walked and came home on Adolis Garcia’s double, giving Texas a 2-0 lead.
The Angels got a run back in their half of the sixth. Brandon Marsh walked with one out, went to second on David Fletcher’s single and scored on Rengifo’s two-out single to left. But the Angels left a pair of runners in scoring position when Taylor Ward flew out to left, ending the threat.
Perez (9-2) gave up one run on three hits over seven innings.
“You see him on the mound and it’s good stuff, it really is, and that’s why he’s an All-Star pitcher and he took care of us tonight pretty well,” Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said. “We had our chances certainly, we had some guys out there once in a while, but it took awhile for us to get to him and when we did, we didn’t get the big hit.”
It was the third consecutive start Perez has given up just one run, and the second in a row that he has allowed one run over seven innings. Perez avenged an April 17th loss to the Angels when he gave up four runs (three earned) in four innings.
An All-Star earlier this month for the first time, Perez would be a highly coveted prize on the trade market, but he continues to make it known that his heart is in Texas.
“They know that, and it’s not a secret,” said Perez, who is back in Texas after playing his first seven seasons with the club (2012-18). “You get that feeling when you come back to home. I want to be a part of this organization to end my career. Like I say, it’s something I don’t have control (over). I just have to come back and be ready for my next outing.”
Angels starter Patrick Sandoval (3-7) gave up two runs on four hits over 5 2/3 innings with two walks and six strikeouts.
The Rangers put the game out of reach by scoring five runs in the ninth inning. Duran and Heim had RBI doubles and Leody Taveras had an RBI single, as Texas cashed in two more Angels gifts. Semien’s ground ball was misplayed by Rengifo, allowing Kole Calhoun to score, while Duran scored on one of two wild pitches by Elvis Peguero.
“A 2-1 game going into the ninth inning and you know how games have been going lately for us,” Woodward said. “… They make a mistake and we end up scoring five.”
Rangers: SS Corey Seager was out of the lineup Friday with a contusion on his lower left leg that forced him out of Thursday’s series opener. After Saturday’s game, Seager said he felt much improved. Semien took over at shortstop and Charlie Culberson started at second base.
Rangers: RHP Glenn Otto (4-7, 5.37 ERA) has lost five of six starts and will face a division opponent for the fourth consecutive time Saturday.
Angels: RHP Chase Silseth (1-3, 5.84) is expected to be recalled from Double-A Rocket City for his third stint with the club this season.