ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Derek Norris drove in three runs with a pair of doubles, Scott Kazmir outpitched Martin Perez and the Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 9-3 on Tuesday night.
The A’s went ahead to stay on Norris’ two-run double in the first off Perez (4-1), who had pitched 26 consecutive scoreless innings over his previous three starts.
The left-hander had thrown three-hit shutouts his last two games, including at Oakland six days earlier.
Kazmir (4-0) tied for the AL lead in wins. He needed 95 pitches to get through five innings, but left with a 9-3 lead. The lefty struck out four and walked one.
When Norris added an RBI double to make it 4-0 in the third, the A’s already had six hits off Perez, who started the night with an AL-best 1.42 ERA.
The eight runs allowed by Perez were two more than his combined total his first five starts, and his ERA more than doubled to 2.95. He struck out three and walked three in 4 2-3 innings.
Oakland, swept in three games at home by the Rangers last week, has won the first two games in this series that started with the teams tied atop the AL West.
At 17-10, the A’s have the best record in the American League. Texas (15-12) has its first three-game losing streak this season.
A’s right-hander Sonny Gray, who lost in the matchup against Perez last week, reached four wins by throwing a three-hit shutout in the series opener. Gray beat Rangers ace Yu Darvish, who with 3 1-3 innings had the shortest start in three seasons since coming from Japan.
Perez and Toronto’s Mark Buehrle were the only other AL pitchers who went into Tuesday’s games with four wins.
When Craig Gentry led off the second with a triple, the A’s already had three hits – matching through seven batters what they got against Perez last week. Gentry scored on a groundout by Josh Reddick, who added a two-run single in Oakland’s five-run outburst in the fifth.
Perez was gone after issuing a bases-loaded walk to Alberto Callaspo in the fifth. Pinch-hitter Brandon Moss then drew a bases-loaded walk on an eight-pitch at-bat against reliever Jason Frasor before Reddick’s single made it 9-1.
Alex Rios had an RBI double for Texas in the fourth, but was thrown out trying to come home on a groundball. After the Rangers had consecutive singles to start the fifth, Elvis Andrus sent home a run on a groundout and Prince Fielder had an RBI single.
NOTES: It was Texas manager Ron Washington’s 62nd birthday. The Rangers are 0-6 in games on his birthday. … Kazmir’s ERA rose to 2.11 after he entered at 1.62, third-best in the AL. … Oakland is 11-4 on the road, best in the AL. … Perez’s scoreless streak was the fifth-longest for a Rangers starter. … There was delay of 1 minute, 38 seconds in the fifth for Washington’s challenge after first-base umpire Laz Diaz ruled a foul ball on Andrus’ liner down the right-field line just past the infield dirt. The call stood after replay, meaning there was no clear or convincing evidence to overturn it.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.