Oakland, CA – Martin Perez won his sixth straight start and the Texas Rangers moved back into first place in the AL West with a 5-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday.
The A's won the opener of this three-game series on Labor Day to pull even atop the division, but Oakland's four-game winning straight came to an end as Perez (9-3) gave up just one run on eight hits over seven effective frames.
"Everytime he goes out there, it's another experience," said Texas manager Ron Washington about Perez. "I just think we need to let him continue to grow and whatever expectations come up on him, let him put it on himself."
Jurickson Profar went 2-for-3 with a run scored and another drive in, while Alex Rios and Mitch Moreland both added solo homers for the Rangers, who will turn to Yu Darvish in Wednesday's key rubber match opposite Jarrod Parker.
A's starter Bartolo Colon (14-6) lasted just five innings after allowing eight hits and four runs, though only one was earned.
"It's not like they knocked him around," said Oakland manager Bob Melvin. "Quite a few bloop hits, hit the one home run."
The only run Oakland managed came in the first inning when Coco Crisp led off with a double and eventually scored on Jed Lowrie's sacrifice fly.
Moreland's blast in the fourth -- his 22nd of the year -- evened things, and Colon's error with one out in the fifth opened the door for Texas' three-run frame.
Craig Gentry reached first on the miscue and came around on a Profar double. Profar moved to third on Ian Kinsler's base hit, and a run-scoring groundout from Adrian Beltre followed by a flare into short center from A.J. Pierzynski gave the Rangers a 4-1 cushion.
Oakland's Josh Donaldson made a highlight-reel catch in foul territory in the sixth as he drove near the stands and caught David Murphy's fly ball while falling between the tarp and the front row.
The cheers stopped when Rios took Jesse Chavez deep in the eighth, and Joe Nathan followed up Tanner Scheppers' scoreless inning of relief with one of his own in the ninth.
Texas assured itself a winning road record for a third consecutive seasons, a team first ... The Rangers have allowed five runs or less in 30 consecutive games, the AL's best streak in the designated hitter era ... The last Texas pitcher to win six consecutive starts was Kenny Rogers, who won eight in a row from April 27-June 5, 2005 ... Pierzynski tied the MLB record for most consecutive seasons with 100 or more games caught at 13, joining Bill Dickey, Johnny Bench and Brad Ausmus ... Colon has lasted five innings or less in each of his last four outings ... Oakland had its streak of 15 straight games with a home run come to an end.