ARLINGTON, Texas – Martin Perez pitched six-hit ball into the seventh inning and the AL West-leading Texas Rangers beat the scuffling Cincinnati Reds 4-0 on Friday night.
The Reds have lost three in a row, and six of seven. They also have more concerns about right-hander Johnny Cueto (4-2), their opening day starter already on the disabled list twice this season who left after a batter into the second inning because of tightness in his right lat muscle.
Perez (2-1) struck out three in 6 2/3 innings. The left-hander was coming off a win last Saturday at St. Louis, where he gave up runs in each of the first two innings before holding the Cardinals scoreless over his last five innings.
Jason Frasor and Robbie Ross finished off the Rangers’ second shutout in a row and seventh this season. Cincinnati was held scoreless for the sixth time.
Cueto (4-2), who clearly grimaced on at least one pitch to Adrian Beltre, was in obvious pain after throwing a 1-2 fastball that Mitch Moreland fouled off leading off the second. It was his last pitch.
It was only Cueto’s third start since missing the first half of June while on the DL with a strained right shoulder. He also missed more than a month earlier this season because of a strained right lat.
RED SOX 7, BLUE JAYS 5: In Boston, Jonny Gomes broke a tie with a seventh-inning single and Boston won its fourth in a row won after squandering a five-run lead.
ORIOLES 4, YANKEES 3: In Baltimore, Nate McLouth hit a tiebreaking homer off CC Sabathia in the seventh inning, and Manny Machado had two RBI to lead Baltimore.
ROYALS 9, TWINS 3: In Minneapolis, Eric Hosmer hit two of Kansas City’s season-high four home runs, and James Shields pitched six strong innings for his 90th win.
BRAVES 3, DIAMONDBACKS 0: In Atlanta, Julio Teheran pitched six strong innings, and Andrelton Simmons homered to lead Atlanta. The Braves, who have won three of four and lead second-place Washington by 5 1/2 games in the NL East, retired former All-Star third baseman Chipper Jones’ number before the game.
PADRES 9, MARLINS 2: In Miami, Will Venable drove in three runs and saved one with a diving catch in right field to lead San Diego. Logan Forsythe hit a two-run homer for the Padres and had three of their 15 hits.
NATIONALS 6, METS 4: In New York, Ian Desmond doubled home the go-ahead run in the ninth inning as Washington rallied late.
PIRATES 10, BREWERS 3: In Pittsburgh, Gerrit Cole overcame a rocky start to become the first Pirates pitcher to win his first four career starts in more than a century and Starling Marte missed the cycle a few feet short of a home run as Pittsburgh won.
ROCKIES 4, GIANTS 1: In Denver, Michael Cuddyer homered to extend his hitting streak to 25 games, and Jhoulys Chacin pitched eight scoreless innings for Colorado. Cuddyer’s streak is the longest in the majors this season and extended his franchise record.