By LARY BUMP Associated Press
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Adolis García and Kole Calhoun each hit two home runs, Martin Perez pitched six strong innings and the Texas Rangers beat the Boston Red Sox 7-1 on Sunday.
Texas trailed 1-0 and didn’t have a hit until Calhoun led off the bottom of the fifth with an opposite-field homer into the visitors’ bullpen in left-center.
García broke the 1-1 tie with two out and two men on base in the sixth. He hit an 0-1 pitch from Boston’s Ryan Brasier (0-2), took 10 steps down the first base line while watching the ball disappear into the right-center field bullpen, dropped his bat, pointed toward the Texas dugout and broke into a trot.
“He was pointing at Martin Perez,” an interpreter for García said. “He had told him prior to that at-bat that he was going to win this game for him.”
Perez confirmed García had made that pledge.
“He crushed that pitch,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said, second-guessing himself about pitching to García. “Maybe it should be me going to the mound. We had the lefty ready for Calhoun. A swing and miss, a walk, two outs. Take the next matchup and see what happens.”
Two pitches later, Calhoun sent another homer the other way against Brasier.
In Calhoun’s first season with Texas, he had only one home run before Sunday.
García added a two-run homer in the eighth to tie his career high with five RBIs.
The home runs were the first for Texas in the three-game series. The Red Sox won the first two against the Rangers but haven’t won more than two in a row this season.
Perez (2-2) allowed five hits and struck out seven. He has an ERA of 0.84 over his five most recent starts.
Perez held the Red Sox scoreless until two were out in the top of the fifth inning. Kiké Hernández looped a single into right-center field, and Rafael Devers sent Hernández home with a one-hop double off the center field fence.
Devers, Perez’s teammate with Boston in 2020 and ’21, had three of the five hits allowed by the left-hander — two doubles and a single. Perez played for Cora last season.
“Devers is from another world. I was trying to throw the perfect pitch to him. My goal was just to go out there and stop those guys. I was just trying to stay focused. I don’t try to be perfect,” Perez said after stranding six of his former teammates in six innings.
“He will pitch to the edges,” Cora said, “until he can’t. He got on a roll. He’s got that backdoor cutter, which is actually a better pitch from last year; it’s not as big. He was able to dot it on the outside of the plate.”
Marcus Semien ended his 0-for-27 drought with a double down the left-field line in the Rangers’ four-run sixth inning.
Rangers: C Mitch Garver (elbow) has been hitting for two days. Garver is eligible to come off the injured list Thursday and could return at DH or at first base, manager Chris Woodward said.
J.D. DOESN’T WAIT
It took five pitches for Boston’s J.D. Martinez to extend his major league-leading hitting streak to 16 games and on-base streak to 32 with a first-inning single. The on-base streak carried over from his last five games of 2021. The previous Red Sox player to reach base in the first 27 games of a season was Hall of Famer Wade Boggs in 1983.
LHP Austin Davis became the seventh Red Sox pitcher to start a game this season. As the opener ahead of RHP Tanner Houck, Davis made his first major league start after 98 relief appearances. He retired the first six batters he faced and left the game after allowing a leadoff walk to Nathaniel Lowe in the third inning. Houck has made four starts this season.
Red Sox: Begin a seven-game homestand on Monday with the first of three against Houston. RHP Garrett Whitlock (1-1, 2.19 ERA) is scheduled to oppose Astros RHP Jake Odorizzi (3-2, 3.38).
Rangers: Begin a three-game home series against the Angels on Monday, with RHP Jon Gray (0-1, 5.51) going against Los Angeles RHP Noah Syndergaard (3-1, 2.45).
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