OAKLAND, Calif. -- Left-hander Martin Perez pitched his second straight shutout and extended his streak of scoreless innings to 26 as the Texas Rangers beat the Oakland A's 3-0, sweeping their three-game series.
The Rangers moved a half-game past the A's and into first place in the American League West for the first time since Sept. 5, 2013.
Perez's scoreless streak is the seventh longest in Rangers history. Left-hander Kenny Rogers owns the record of 39 innings, set in 1995 from May 6 to June 1. Perez became the seventh pitcher in Rangers history to pitch back-to-back shutouts. Charlie Hough had a team-record three straight shutouts in 1983 from Aug. 28 to Sept. 7. Since then, the only other Ranger to pitch back-to-back shutouts before Perez was lefty Derek Holland in 2011 from July 7 to 14.
Holland was the last pitcher in the American League to accomplish the feat. Phillies lefty Cole Hamels was the last pitcher in the majors with back-to-back shutouts. Hamels accomplished that in 2012 from Aug. 7 to 13.
Streaking: Perez came into the game off his first career shutout and second career complete game, a 12-0 Rangers win Friday against the White Sox. He picked up where he left off, blanking the A's on three hits. He struck out three, walked two and needed just 108 pitches. Perez didn't allow a hit until the fourth inning when shortstop Jed Lowrie singled to center. The A's next hit came in the fifth when Derek Norris singled. Josh Donaldson doubled with one out in the seventh.
Dueling aces: Perez outdueled A's right-hander Sonny Gray in a battle of young, undefeated pitchers. Gray (3-1) allowed three runs on five hits over seven innings, striking out eight and walking four to suffer his first loss.
Quick-strike attack: For the third straight time in the three-game series, Texas took a lead in the top of the first inning. Choice, hitting leadoff for the second straight game and second time in his professional career, led off with a walk against Gray. With one out, Rios crushed a triple to left-center, bringing Choice home.
Adding on: The Rangers increased their lead to 2-0 in the fifth inning. Leonys Martin led off with an infield single, moved to second on Josh Wilson's sacrifice bunt and scored when Choice grounded a single to center. Then in the sixth, Murphy, a former Athletic, launched a solo home run over the right-field fence with two out, making it 3-0.
Flash the leather: Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus put on a defensive clinic Wednesday. In the second inning, he ranged far to his right to field Alberto Callaspo's ground ball. He made an off-balance, one-hop throw to first baseman Prince Fielder that beat Callaspo to the bag. Then in the sixth, Andrus ranged far to his left, fielding Daric Barton's hard ground ball behind second base and gunning him out.
After further review: For the second time in the three-game series, the Rangers were on the wrong end of a reversal. With one out and Rios on third after an RBI triple, Fielder hit a ground ball to shortstop Jed Lowrie, who threw home to catcher Derek Norris. A sliding Rios was ruled safe by plate umpire Larry Vanover, but A's manager Bob Melvin challenged the call and it was overturned after a video review that lasted 2:37. On Monday night in the seventh inning, Rangers left fielder Shin-Soo Choo had an apparent infield single, but that call was reversed.
Up next: After a day off Thursday, the Rangers open a three-game series Friday at Seattle against the Mariners. Left-hander Robbie Ross Jr. (1-1, 2.31 ERA) will face Mariners lefty Roenis Elias (1-2, 3.22) on ESPN 103.3 FM and TXA21.