ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Texas Rangers left-hander Martin Perez followed a nightmarish performance in which he failed to get an out in the second inning with a dream outing in which he nearly shut out the world champion San Francisco Giants.
Perez (1-2) allowed only two hits in 8 1-3 innings Sunday to beat the Giants 2-1.
Last Tuesday against the New York Yankees, he left after the first eight batters in the second inning reached base. He was charged with eight runs in a 21-5 loss.
“When I got the timing of the game, I got the quick outs and I got out of the game,” Perez said. “I want to continue to do that and just be ready for my next start.”
Perez credited his sinker, changeup and “my big rest” from having thrown only 45 pitches against the Yankees. He retired the first 14 batters Sunday, threw just 80 pitches and missed the strike zone infrequently through the first five innings.
Perez got 16 groundball outs to five fly outs plus six strikeouts with no walks.
“He was able to get these guys to swing and hit the ball on the ground,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.
Josh Hamilton’s two-run homer in the sixth inning was enough for Texas to take the rubber game of the three-game series. The Giants scored in the ninth when Buster Posey singled to center off right-hander Sam Dyson, but Dyson got Hunter Pence to ground a 2-0 pitch into a game-ending double play to record his first career save.
The Giants went into the game leading the majors with 199 runs scored with two outs.
“It definitely felt like it was going to happen again,” said Pence, who played collegiately a short drive from Globe Life Park at Texas-Arlington. “I definitely don’t feel great about my at-bat, grounding into a double play with a 2-0 count, but you’ve also got to give some credit to Dyson.”
This was Perez’s fourth start in his return from Tommy John surgery in May 2014. He hadn’t previously worked more than six innings.
Two of Hamilton’s five homers this season, which began in late May after being reacquired from the Los Angeles Angels in late April, have come in the last four games. Sunday’s shot came on a curve left high in the strike zone by Mike Leake (9-6), who was making his first start with the Giants after being acquired from Cincinnati last Thursday.
“I think it was the first (curve) I’d seen,” Hamilton said.
HOME FINALLY SWEET?
The Rangers went into Sunday’s play with the third-worst home record in the majors. Sunday’s victory gives them four wins in their last five home games with a three-game series against Houston closing a 10-game homestand.
Giants: 2B Joe Panik missed his third game in six days because of back stiffness. Manager Bruce Bochy said Panik might need to also miss Monday’s game.
Rangers: RHP Tanner Scheppers, Texas’ eighth-inning setup man, was placed on the 15-day disabled list with left knee inflammation. To fill his spot on the active roster, RHP Phil Klein was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock.
Giants: Atlanta will be the middle stop of a three-city, 10-game road trip. RHP Matt Cain (2-2) allowed four runs in six innings last Wednesday losing at Milwaukee.
Rangers: RHP Colby Lewis (11-4) will start Monday against Houston, one day following his 36th birthday.