HOUSTON – 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 homering 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 remain atop the American League West standings. Texas has won 12 of its last 13 after losing 12 of its previous 15.
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.
-- Drew Davison