In this day and age, sweeping the Houston Astros isn’t exactly a landmark feat. However, the Texas Rangers have won 7 straight games after their weekend sweep of Houston, and they may have unearthed a future ace in the process.
Martin Perez hurled his 1st career complete game on Sunday afternoon, leading Texas to a decisive 6-1 victory on the road. Perez entered the 9th inning with a shutout, but even after allowing a home run to Chris Carter, he was able to go wire-to-wire to grab a win. He allowed only 4 hits and 2 walks in route to the complete game, and struck out 8 batters from the free-swinging Houston lineup.
Offensively, the Rangers got a big game from the newly-acquired Alex Rios. The 32-year-old outfielder went 2-for-4 on the day with 2 runs scored, and his 6th inning double gave Perez the breathing room that any young pitcher desires. Adrian Beltre (2-for-4) and Jurickson Profar (1-for-4, 2 RBI) had nice days at the plate as well for Texas, but the overriding story was Perez.
After Sunday’s outing, the young right-hander has lowered his ERA to a very, very solid 3.44 on the season. He was a topic of rumors at the trade deadline, and it was considered a coup for Texas to be able to hang on to him, even in the midst of the Rios acquisition. If he can perform like this down the stretch, Texas is in great shape for a playoff berth, and they have a great building block for the future of their rotation.