ARLINGTON – The Texas Rangers stumbled into the All-Star break, and that has carried into the second half.
The Baltimore Orioles completed a three-game sweep of the Rangers, leaving town with a 4-2 victory on Sunday night.
The Rangers have lost seven of their last eight, and now trail the A’s by three games in the American League West.
Martin Perez started the game and pitched better than his stat line suggests as he allowed four runs on nine hits with one walk and five strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings.
Orioles first baseman Chris Davis started the second inning with a double on a fly ball that David Murphy lost in the sun, and then Perez gave up two ground-ball singles, including a run-scoring hit to Matt Wieters. Danny Valencia followed by reaching on an error, and Brian Roberts singled to right to score a run.
With the bases loaded and no outs, the game could have gotten away from Perez. But he retired the next three batters to minimize damage.
The Orioles scored single runs in the third and fourth to take a 4-0 lead.
The Rangers’ offense, meanwhile, remained stuck in neutral for most of the game. Baltimore right-hander Chris Tillman threw eight-plus innings of two-run ball.
The Rangers scored a single run in the fifth on an RBI single by Ian Kinsler, and then Adrian Beltre led off the ninth with a solo homer.
The Rangers kept the rally going in the ninth, too, when pinch-hitter Jurickson Profar drew a one-out walk to bring the tying run to the plate. But Elvis Andrus bounced into a fielder's choice and Murphy struck out to end the game.
-- Drew Davison