ARLINGTON, Texas — Derek Norris drove in three runs with a pair of doubles, Scott Kazmir outpitched Martin Perez and the Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 9-3 on Tuesday night.
The A’s went ahead to stay on Norris’ two-run double in the first off Perez (4-1), who had pitched 26 consecutive scoreless innings over his previous three starts.
The left-hander had thrown three-hit shutouts his last two games, including at Oakland six days earlier.
Kazmir (4-0) tied for the AL lead in wins. He needed 95 pitches to get through five innings, but left with a 9-3 lead. The lefty struck out four and walked one.
When Norris added an RBI double to make it 4-0 in the third, the A’s already had six hits off Perez, who started the night with an AL-best 1.42 ERA.
The eight runs allowed by Perez were two more than his combined total his first five starts, and his ERA more than doubled to 2.95. He struck out three and walked three in 4 2-3 innings.
Oakland, swept in three games at home by the Rangers last week, has won the first two games in this series that started with the teams tied atop the AL West.
At 17-10, the A’s have the best record in the American League. Texas (15-12) has its first three-game losing streak this season.
A’s right-hander Sonny Gray, who lost in the matchup against Perez last week, reached four wins by throwing a three-hit shutout in the series opener. Gray beat Rangers ace Yu Darvish, who with 3 1-3 innings had the shortest start in three seasons since coming from Japan.
Perez and Toronto’s Mark Buehrle were the only other AL pitchers who went into Tuesday’s games with four wins.
When Craig Gentry led off the second with a triple, the A’s already had three hits — matching through seven batters what they got against Perez last week. Gentry scored on a groundout by Josh Reddick, who added a two-run single in Oakland’s five-run outburst in the fifth.
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