Texas Rangers

Perez can’t save Rangers from sweep at Oakland

Martin Perez struggled with his command early but kept Oakland off the scoreboard until a five-run fifth inning.
Martin Perez struggled with his command early but kept Oakland off the scoreboard until a five-run fifth inning. AP

The Texas Rangers could be eliminated from the wild-card race as early as Tuesday after the Oakland A’s struck for five runs in the fifth inning against Martin Perez and finished off a three-game sweep with an8 -1 victory.

The Rangers are now 5 1/2 games behind the Minnesota Twins for the second wild card. The Rangers will eliminated with any combination of two losses or Twins wins over the final seven games.

Perez had allowed only one hit through four innings, though he walked four early on, before Oakland put together five hits against him. The big one was a two-run homer by Khris Davis that made it 5-0.

Nomar Mazara hit a home run in the seventh, his 20th of the season, to snap a 21-inning scoreless drought and keep the Rangers from being shutout in back-to-back games. 

How Rangers pitchers fared: Martin Perez survived four scoreless innings to open his 31st start but couldn’t get out of the fifth. ... He walked four in the first two innings but had allowed only one hit entering the fifth, and that was an infield single that should have been an error. ... The A’s pieced together five hits, including a two-run homer by Khris Davis, as Perez recorded only two outs in the inning. ... The early command issues pushed his pitch count to 92. ... Tony Barnette allowed two runs in the sixth inning. 

How Rangers hitters fared: After collecting four hits Saturday in a 1-0 shutout loss, they collected one run on three hits. ... They had only a first-inning single by Elvis Andrus against Jharel Cotton, who breezed through five scoreless innings before leaving early after hitting a pitch count. ... Delino DeShields singled in the sixth against Simon Castro. ... Nomar Mazara finally ended the Rangers’ scoreless-innings streak at 21 with a home run in the seventh. It was it 20th homer of the season and 97th RBI. ... Prospect Willie Calhoun struck out in the ninth inning in his first at-bat in more than a week.

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