ANAHEIM (AP) — Martin Perez dodged a couple early jams en route to seven strong innings, Drew Robinson and Mike Napoli homered and the surging Texas Rangers beat the Los Angeles Angels 3-0 on Thursday night.
Texas has won eight of 11 games, pulling within a game of the final AL wild card despite trading away ace Yu Darvish to the Dodgers at the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline.
Perez (9-10) won his fourth consecutive start. He had two runners aboard in each of the second and third innings, but escaped both situations and cruised from there. He allowed seven hits, struck out three and didn’t walk a batter.
Jason Grilli pitched the eighth and rookie Ricardo Rodriguez the ninth, earning his first career save to complete the Rangers’ sixth shutout.
Troy Scribner (2-1) gave up three runs on three hits and two walks, striking out six.
Robinson’s two-run homer came in the third. It was his fourth home run of the year. Napoli added his 26th shot in the fourth.
The Angels’ best scoring chance came when they received singles from Cliff Pennington and Cameron Maybin to lead off the third and had the heart of their order up. Perez struck out Mike Trout, popped up Albert Pujols and got C.J. Cron to ground out to avoid any damage.
The Rangers took three of the four games in the series.
Despite the loss, the Angels remained a half-game behind Minnesota and Kansas City for that last wild card.
Rangers: Struggling RHP Tyson Ross (3-3, 7.04 ERA) has lost his spot in the rotation and been moved to the bullpen. Ross missed the first 2 ½ months of the season following surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome and then almost three weeks with a blister. RHP Nick Martinez is expected to take his spot in the rotation.
Angels: 3B Yunel Escobar (oblique) is scheduled for another workout day in Anaheim on Friday before likely going on a rehab assignment. … OF Ben Revere fouled a ball off his left knee Tuesday, bruising it enough that he has yet to return. Manager Mike Scioscia said the foul did not hit the knee cap but the muscle directly above it.
Rangers: Plan to call up Martinez (3-4, 5.38) from Triple-A Round Rock to start series opener Friday in Oakland. Martinez was scratched from his Thursday start for Round Rock, where he is unscored upon in his last four starts. RHP A.J. Griffin was scheduled to start Friday, but has been pushed back to Sunday.
Angels: RHP Parker Bridwell (7-1) will try to return to form Friday when he opens a three-game series at home against the Astros. He allowed four runs on six hits in five innings Sunday in Baltimore, but the Angels are 11-1 in games he’s started.
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