Houston, TX – Getting a complete-game effort from Martin Perez and another immediate contribution from Alex Rios, the surging Texas Rangers ran their season-high win streak to seven games with a 6-1 triumph over the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
Perez (5-3) yielded just four hits and two walks while striking out a career- best eight batters in going the distance for the first time in the major leagues. A solo home run by Chris Carter in the ninth spoiled his shutout bid.
"He threw a lot of strikes out there today," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He's good at keeping the ball down. He has good mechanics.
Rios tripled in the tying run and scored the go-ahead tally in the eighth inning of Saturday's 5-4 victory over the Astros, the outfielder's first game with the Rangers since being acquired from the Chicago White Sox. He turned in a fine encore as well, a 2-for-4 performance that included an RBI double and two runs scored.
Jurickson Profar added a two-RBI single during a four-run ninth inning that sealed Texas' seventh straight road win as well, which matches the longest streak in the American League this season.
"It felt like the more outs (Perez) recorded, the quicker our at-bats got," Astros manager Bo Porter said.
The lowly Astros, meanwhile, lost a fifth consecutive game and ninth in 10 outings despite a strong showing from Dallas Kuechel (5-7), who held the Rangers to two runs over the first eight innings before faltering in the ninth.
Keuchel ended up being charged with all six runs -- five earned -- and struck out eight while ended one out short of a complete game. The left-hander retired the first 13 batters he faced.
That streak finally ended when Rios came up with a single to short with one out in the fifth. Jeff Baker followed with a base hit of his own to bring up Geovany Soto, who drilled a pitch deep to center that landed in the stands on a hop to break the scoreless tie.
A throwing error by Houston shortstop Jake Elmore helped Texas extend the lead to 2-0 an inning later. Elvis Andrus reached first on the play and came home shortly afterward when Rios laced a double down the right-field line with two outs.
Perez, meanwhile, was rolling through the Houston lineup. After stranding two runners while getting out of a mild jam in the third inning, the young lefty didn't allow a hit until Elmore singled with two outs in the eighth.
Keuchel was able to keep the Astros in it until the ninth, which began with an Adrian Beltre double. He later walked Baker and hit Craig Gentry with a pitch to load the bases, and Profar made him pay with a single to right that knocked in two runners, with Gentry scoring on the play due to an error by Houston right fielder L.J. Hoes.
Leonys Martin then sent home Profar with a single for a 6-0 Houston lead.
Perez was one out away from notching his first career shutout when Carter reached the seats with his 21st homer of the year.
The Rangers last won seven in a row from June 15-22, 2012 ... The Angels are the only other American League team to win seven straight on the road this year, doing so from June 12-30 ... The victory was also Texas' eighth straight at Minute Maid Park and 10th in 12 overall meetings with Houston in 2013, clinching the Silver Boot given to the team that takes the season series for a seventh consecutive year ... Rios has now hit safely in 12 straight games.