Anaheim, CA – Martin Perez threw 6 1/3 quality innings to pitch the Texas Rangers over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 5-2, in the first of three games between the AL West rivals.
Perez (4-3) struck out seven and allowed two runs on four hits and four walks. The 22-year-old lefty pitched into the eighth inning last week against the Angels in a three-game series that saw Texas win each game with a walk-off home run.
"He was more under control tonight," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He got ahead of hitters. He does have enough pitches to be effective. He hit the strike zone and had good velocity."
Adrian Beltre capped that sweep with a solo home run and added another one Monday. Elvis Andrus chipped in a two-run triple and Jurickson Profar went 2-for-4 with an RBI in the victory, Texas' seventh in its last eight games.
Jerome Williams (5-8) was touched for five runs on six hits and three walks over 5 1/3 innings for the Angels, who fell to 2-8 against the Rangers this year and also lost second baseman Howie Kendrick to a hyperextended left knee. He'll be evaluated Tuesday.
"Jerome kept us in the game, he battled," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We hit the ball hard, but didn't have anything to show for it."
The Angels went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11. They left the bases loaded in the seventh inning, and J.B. Shuck flied out to the right-field wall to strand three more in the eighth.
Joe Nathan worked around a walk in the ninth to post his 33rd save and put an end to a dark day for the Rangers, whose RBI leader, Nelson Cruz, was suspended 50 games for his connection to performance-enhancing substances.
Cruz's absence was felt in the first inning. With Mike Trout on third base and two outs, Mark Trumbo hit a fly ball to right field -- Cruz's normal position. David Murphy, playing there for the first time all year, misplayed the ball in the corner, and it resulted in an RBI double when the ball landed fair and out of Murphy's reach.
"I didn't feel that comfortable in right field, that was obvious," Murphy said. "It was not a great first night out there, but we're not a group that feels sorry for ourselves. We'll miss Nellie, but we're still going to be playing hard."
Another play in right field changed the game's course, though.
Williams kept the Rangers off the board over the first four innings but loaded the bases in the fifth and threw a pitch in the dirt that got past Chris Iannetta, allowing Murphy to score.
He appeared to get out of the inning when Andrus hit a fly ball to short right. Collin Cowgill, playing his ninth game in right field for the Angels, went into an early slide as he and Kendrick converged on the ball. Kendrick initially had it in his glove before Cowgill's extended arm connected with his left knee, which was planted in the ground and bent the other way upon impact.
Kendrick went to the ground in pain, causing him to drop the ball. Andrus raced around for a two-run triple as Kendrick writhed in pain in the outfield, and the infielder was immediately taken to the locker room with the help of two trainers after they inspected the injury.
Beltre, who was named the AL Player of the Month for July on Monday, took Williams deep into the left-field bullpen for his 24th home run of the year in the sixth, and Profar greeted Michael Kohn with an RBI single later in the frame.
Jason Frasor took over for Perez with the bases loaded in the seventh and limited the damage to Cowgill's run-scoring fielder's choice.
Trout has reached base in 36 consecutive games, tying the longest streak by an Angels outfielder (Chili Davis, 1995). He earned three free passes and has recorded a walk in 10 straight games -- the longest streak in the AL this season ... Engel Beltre was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock, played left field for Texas and went 0-for-3 with a run scored ... Williams has not won since June 12.