The Rangers scored three runs in the first inning, and Prince Fielder added a two-run homer in the sixth to back starter Martin Perez, who allowed one run over six in a 6-2 win over the Red Sox on Sunday afternoon at Globe Life Park. The Red Sox have lost back-to-back series for the first time since July of last season.
With their 49th victory, the Rangers are tied with the Giants for the most wins in the Majors and are off to the best 76-game start in team history at 49-27.
"It's somebody new every single day, and that's what you want. We're a team, and everyone is doing their job," Elvis Andrus said. "Martin threw a terrific game again today, he's been on fire lately. Every time he's got his stuff, he's been hard to hit."
Nomar Mazara, Adrian Beltre and Rougned Odor had consecutive RBI singles in the first. Red Sox starter and Texas native Clay Buchholz didn't record an out until he got No. 7 hitter Andrus to ground into a 5-2-3 double play with the bases loaded. Buchholz, making his second start since rejoining the rotation, gave up five runs (four earned) on seven hits and walked five in 5 1/3 innings.
"I left a curveball up, but it was just how they were hit," said Buchholz. "They weren't hit hard, regardless of being a mistake, it's balls that seemed to find some holes. They put some good at-bats together. That's part of the game."
Fielder's line-drive home run that just cleared the right-field wall was only the second hit Buchholz had allowed since the first. Beltre was on base thanks to a throwing error from shortstop Xander Bogaerts. Fielder's homer, his seventh, left his bat at 111 mph, according to Statcast™.
"You see the at-bats are controlled and I think he's gained more confidence every game with his swing, with his stroke, with his approach," Texas manager Jeff Banister said of Fielder, who's in the midst of a season-high eight-game hitting streak.
Perez, who won his sixth straight decision, had allowed just five singles through 5 2/3 scoreless innings before Bryce Brentz hit his first Major League homer, a solo shot to left-center. David Ortiz added a pinch-hit RBI single off Jake Diekman in the eighth to finish the scoring.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED No extra-base hits, no problem: The Rangers scored three runs in the first on five singles.Shin-Soo Choo and Ian Desmond opened the game with singles, before Mazara hit one to drive in Choo. Desmond moved to third on Mazara's hit and touched the plate on Beltre's single through the left side. Fielder broke the singles streak with a walk, but Odor kept it going with a bloop over third baseman Travis Shaw to score Beltre. Andrus' double-play ball and a flyout from Bryan Holaday kept the rally from going any further.
Brentz cracks first career homer: With three left fielders on the disabled list for the Red Sox, Brentz was summoned from Triple-A Pawtucket for the first time since 2014 earlier this week. Starting as the designated hitter, Brentz turned on a 1-0 changeup from Perez and clocked it over the wall in left for his first career homer. According to Statcast™, the homer had an exit velocity of 103 mph and covered a distance of 411 feet.
"It's always special -- one thing you'll never forget," said Brentz. "I just wish we'd have pulled this one out."More >
Perez ties career-high winning streak: Perez held the Red Sox, who entered Sunday's game leading the Majors with a .288 average, to just one run over six innings, picking up his sixth straight winning decision. Besides Brentz's homer, the Red Sox amassed just five singles off the left-hander, who struck out two. Perez's winning streak matches a career-high set back in 2013, and he's won six of his past seven outings.
"It's huge to have those guys that have been there and continue to pitch, he's one of them," Banister said. "Seems like every time he goes out we have great confidence. Early on we didn't get him a lot of run support, now we seem to be getting him some run support so he can pitch from in front. He seems to be a solid stabilizer." More >
First the worst for Buchholz: The first inning continues to be the biggest problem for Buchholz. The righty has given up 21 hits and 13 earned runs in the opening frame in his 12 starts this season. He allowed just one earned run over his final 4 1/3 innings in this one.
"Two starts he's made back, there's two runs in the first start, three runs here today," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "I can't say it's because of a change in his warmup routine or the fact that he's not getting enough in preparation of the start of the game. It's a matter of settling in and commanding the baseball to quality locations."
QUOTABLE "Choo has done a phenomenal job of getting on base, getting hits and driving the ball out of the ballpark. That's a weapon." -- Banister on Choo, who had his first three-hit game of the season
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS Ortiz came off the bench to pinch-hit in the eighth and drove in Bogaerts for career RBI No. 1,702, tying him with Reggie Jackson for 24th on the all-time list. With two more RBIs, Ortiz will tie another Hall of Famer in Frank Thomas.
UNDER REVIEW When Andrus hit a grounder to third to open the fourth, the throw from Shaw temporarily tookHanley Ramirez off the bag, and the initial call was safe. But after a challenge by Farrell, the call was overturned.
WHAT'S NEXT Red Sox: Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (1-2, 6.41 ERA), who opens a three-game series against the Rays in St. Petersburg on Monday at 7:10 p.m. ET, showed flashes of getting back on track in his last start, giving up four hits and three earned runs over six innings in a no decision against the White Sox.
Rangers: Right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez will make his first start of the season against the Yankees at 6:05 p.m. CT on Monday at Yankee Stadium. Gonzalez made 10 starts for the Rangers as a rookie last year and has a 5.04 ERA in four starts with Triple-A Round Rock this season.