FLUSHING – (On-site Staff and Wire Service Report by The Sports Xchange) – Martin Perez snapped a four-start losing streak by allowing just one run over eight strong innings Wednesday afternoon as the Texas Rangers cruised to a 5-1 win over the New York Mets at Citi Field in Flushing Meadows, Queens. The Rangers (54-59) salvaged a split of the two-game series. The Mets (50-61), who have not swept a series at home all season, lost for the eighth time in 10 games.
Perez (6-10) was initially scheduled to start Friday but was pressed into duty Wednesday due to a rotation reshuffling resulting from Andrew Cashner being scratched Tuesday with a stiff neck. Perez gave up three hits and walked none while striking out five in his longest outing since Aug. 2, 2015.
The 26-year-old left-hander, who had a 9.41 ERA in his previous four starts, didn’t allow a hit until Wilmer Flores led off the fifth with a home run.
Alex Claudio tossed a perfect ninth inning to end the game.
Joey Gallo hit a two-run homer for the Rangers and reached base four times while Shin Soo-Choo reached base five times in six plate appearances (double, single, three walks).
The Rangers produced all the offense they’d need during a three-run first inning, when they batted around against Mets right-hander Rafael Montero (1-8). Choo led off the game with a double, went to third on Nomar Mazara’s single and scored on a balk by Montero. Gallo followed with a long two-run homer.
Jose Reyes and Amed Rosario each had a single for the Mets.
Elvis Andrus built a run in the second, when he reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and third and beat the throw home on Mazara’s grounder to second.
The Rangers scored their final run in the sixth, when Mazara delivered a leadoff single, went to second on Adrian Beltre’s single, took third on Gallo’s walk and trotted home when Drew Robinson coaxed a walk.
Montero allowed four runs on five hits and three walks while striking out five over his 3.0 innings when he had a balk and two hit batters.
NOTES: The Rangers recalled IF Tyler Smith from Triple-A Round Rock and optioned RHP Nick Martinez to the same affiliate. Smith will provide infield insurance with 2B Rougned Odor (left foot) day-to-day. Odor, who was hit by a pitch on Tuesday, struck out as a pinch-hitter Wednesday. … The Rangers announced LHP Cole Hamels will start Friday’s series opener against the Houston Astros. RHP Andrew Cashner, who was scratched Tuesday due to a stiff neck, is a candidate to start Saturday. … Mets INF Neil Walker started at third base for the first time since June 11, 2010. … Mets RHP Hansel Robles tossed three innings for the first time this season and the fourth time in his career