Martin Perez pitched the best game of his young career, Alex Rios shined once again and the Texas Rangers pulled away late for a 6-1 victory over the Houston Astros on Sunday afternoon at Minute Maid Park.
Perez threw his first career complete game and was an out away from a shutout. But Chris Carter spoiled the shutout bid by hitting a home run with two outs in the ninth.
Up to that point, Perez had allowed only three hits, two walks and a hit by pitch. Still, it was a pitching gem by Perez, who had a career-high eight strikeouts over his 115-pitch outing.
The Rangers extended their season-long winning streak to seven games, and remained atop the American League West by one game over second-place Oakland. Texas has won 12 of its last 13 after losing 12 of its previous 15.
Never miss a local story.
Astros starter Dallas Keuchel had a perfect game going into the fifth inning before Rios reached on an infield single with one out. Jeff Baker followed with a single, and Geovany Soto drove in Rios with a ground-rule double over the center-field fence.
The Rangers made it 2-0 in the sixth on an RBI single by Rios.
Keuchel kept it a two-run game until the ninth when the Rangers scored four runs. Jurickson Profar had a two-run single, another run scored on an error and Leonys Martin had an RBI single.