Apr 23, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez (33) pitches the ball against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Martin Perez Outduels Sonny Gray As Rangers Sweep Oakland Athletics


In a battle of undefeated young pitchers, Martin Perez of the Texas Rangers outdueled young ace Sonny Gray of the Oakland Athletics Wednesday at O.co Coliseum, pitching his second consecutive shutout as the Rangers completed a three-game sweep of the A’s, 3-0.

Perez allowed three hits while striking out three and walking two to improve to 4-0 and drop his ERA to 1.42 while extending his streak of consecutive scoreless innings to 26.

Gray (3-1) wasn’t bad, either, allowing three runs on five hits while striking out eight and walking four in seven innings, raising his ERA to 2.25.

The Rangers (13-8) gave Perez all the run support he would need in the top of the first. Gray walked former A’s prospect Michael Choice to lead off the game and one out later, Alex Rios cracked a triple to left field.

That was all the Rangers would get. Prince Fielder’s grounder was fielded by shortstop Jed Lowrie, who threw home to Derek Norris. Rios was originally ruled to have slid under Norris’ tag, but after Oakland manager Bob Melvin asked for a review, the call was reversed and Rios was called out.

Oakland, meanwhile, only got one runner as far as second base. Josh Donaldson doubled with one out in the seventh and Norris drew a two-out walk—the only time the A’s had two baserunners—but Alberto Callaspo grounded out to end the threat.

Lowrie singled in the fourth for Oakland’s first hit, but was erased when Donaldson bounced into a double play. Norris led off the fifth with a single off the glove of third baseman Josh Wilson, but Perez got Callaspo to ground into a double play.

Texas made it 2-0 in the fifth on an RBI single by Choice and Donnie Murphy hit his first homer of the season in the sixth for the Rangers’ final tally.

Drew Pomeranz worked a scoreless eighth for Oakland (13-7), allowing a walk and striking out two. Jim Johnson allowed two hits and struck out one while blanking Texas in the ninth.

The A’s open a four-game weekend series on Thursday at Minute Maid Park in Houston, taking on the Astros. Scott Kazmir (2-0, 1.65 ERA) and Brett Oberholtzer (0-3, 3.04 ERA) square off in a battle of left-handers at 5:10 p.m. Pacific.

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