Oakland, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Texas' Martin Perez outdueled Oakland's Sonny Gray in a battle of up-and-coming aces.
Two of the top young pitchers in baseball entered Wednesday's action undefeated, but only Perez stayed perfect in the Rangers' 3-0 victory over the Athletics.
Perez (4-0) tossed his second straight three-hit shutout. The 23-year-old, who recorded his first career shutout against the White Sox on Friday, has not allowed a run in 26 consecutive innings. The left-hander also pitched eight scoreless innings against the Astros on April 13.
The only other Rangers pitcher to ever throw eight-plus scoreless innings in three consecutive starts is Charlie Hough from Aug. 28-Sept. 7, 1983.
"I don't want to think too much about my ERA and the games that I've thrown before," Perez said. "I'm going to focus on my game today. We had a great game."
The 24-year-old Gray (3-1) allowed three runs on five hits with eight strikeouts and four walks over seven innings. The right-hander had a six-game winning streak dating back to last season snapped.
Donnie Murphy hit a solo homer for the Rangers, who completed their first sweep in Oakland since August 2011. Michael Choice and Alex Rios each knocked in a run.
The Rangers gave Perez all the support he would need in the first inning. Choice led off with a walk and raced home on Rios' triple to left-center field. Prince Fielder then hit a grounder to shortstop Jed Lowrie, who went home with the throw. Rios was initially called safe at the plate, but the call was overturned.
Choice's RBI single in the fifth plated Leonys Martin. Murphy added a homer in the sixth to make it 3-0.
The A's were completely shut down by Perez, who didn't give up an extra-base hit until the seventh. Josh Donaldson hit a one-out double and Derek Norris walked two batters later, but Alberto Callaspo grounded into a fielder's choice to end the inning.
"He keeps the ball off the barrel of the bat -- whether it's a little sink, a little cut, changeup, curveball, slider," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said of Perez.
Perez was perfect over the final two frames.
The A's were swept at home for the first time since Sept. 3-5, 2012 against the Angels, ending a streak of 32 straight home series with at least one win ... Perez, who had three strikeouts and two walks, improved to 3-3 lifetime against Oakland ... The Athletics have lost three in a row for the first time since Aug. 20-23 of last year when they also dropped three straight ... Oakland fell to 8-2 in day games this season ... Rangers third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff (tightness in lower back) and outfielder Shin-Soo Choo (sprained left ankle) were held out ... Texas placed pitcher Pedro Figueroa on the 15- day disabled list and acquired outfielder Dan Robertson from the San Diego Padres in exchange for cash considerations.