Jays drop series finale to Rangers behind strong Perez start

·4 min read

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Martin Perez allowed one run in six innings, Adolis Garcia homered for the second consecutive game and the Texas Rangers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 on Sunday afternoon.

The Blue Jays head home following an 8-2 trip to play five games in four days against another AL wild-card team, Tampa Bay. The Rangers, meanwhile, snapped a three-game losing streak.

“We feel good. It was a great road trip,” Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider said. “I really like where we are as a group.”

Perez (11-6) ended a personal two-game losing streak, which equaled his longest of the season. He gave up six hits, struck out seven and walked two. Toronto went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position against him as he lowered his ERA to 2.77.

“I’m not thinking about numbers, I’m not thinking about ‘Win the game by myself.’” Perez said. “I’m just thinking ‘Win the game as a teammate.’”

Garcia launched a fastball down the left-field line into the second deck off Yusei Kikuchi, the second of five Jays relievers, for his 24th of the season. It was the fifth time this season that he has homered in consecutive games, the first time since July 24-25.

Leody Taveras hit a solo homer for Texas in the eighth inning.

Jose Leclerc pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his fourth save in four chances.

Texas grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning off Trevor Richards (3-2), the Jays’ opener for a bullpen game. Richards struck out leadoff batter Marcus Semien, the only batter he retired. Nathaniel Lowe doubled home Corey Seager, and Richards departed after 26 pitches with the bases loaded.

Teoscar Hernandez, who returned to Toronto’s active roster from the paternity list, went 2 for 3 with a sixth-inning double that scored Bo Bichette.

David Phelps retired all four batters that he faced, the first of three Jays relievers to throw shutout ball.

Phelps is looking forward to this week’s home games against Tampa Bay and Baltimore.

“We’ve spent the entire season in a playoff spot. We know what we’re capable of,” Phelps said. “If we can keep winning series, we’re going to be in a really good spot.”

SEPT. 11 MEMORIAL

President George W. Bush participated in the Rangers’ recognition of the 21st anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks before the game. The ceremonial first pitch was thrown by 13-year-old Andita Pollozani, the daughter of Fort Worth police officer Jimmy Pollozani. Catching the pitch was Rocky Wolfe, a firefighter from the central Texas city of Killeen.

TRAVEL LIGHT

The Rangers left for Miami to play a Monday day-night doubleheader, only to return to Texas immediately afterward to begin a series against Oakland on Tuesday night.

The one-day trip is a result of the post-lockout rescheduling.

Rangers interim manager Tony Beasley said he’ll encourage players to rest up upon their return rather than report at usual times Tuesday.

“It’s taxing,” Beasley said. “And you’re in September, where everybody’s kind of running on fumes. There are some guys that don’t like that, want to be here at the regular time. But you have to think about the whole group. I want energy at 7 (p.m.).”

SHORT HOPS

Semien had his 22-game on-base streak ended; it was the longest current active streak in the majors. … Bichette reached base in all 10 games on the road. … The Rangers designated RHP Kohei Arihara for assignment and selected the contract of RHP Tyson Miller from Triple-A Round Rock. Arihara allowed 11 runs in three innings on Saturday and had a 9.45 ERA in five appearances this season beginning in mid-August.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers RHP Spencer Howard (shoulder) began a rehab assignment with Round Rock on Sunday, giving up one run in four innings.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays: Schneider hasn’t announced his rotation for the Tampa Bay series.

Rangers: RHPs Glenn Otto (6-8, 4.80) and Jon Gray (7-6, 3.83) will start at Miami against Marlins LHPs Trevor Rogers (4-11, 5.51) and Braxton Garrett (2-6, 3.67).

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The Associated Press