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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, April 29th (All times Eastern)

Oakland Athletics (16-10) at Texas Rangers (15-11), 8:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Oakland - Scott Kazmir (3-0, 1.62) Texas - Martin Perez (4-0, 1.42)

(SportsNetwork.com) - Martin Perez goes after his fifth straight win on Tuesday and tries to extend his scoreless innings streak in the process when the Texas Rangers continue a three-game series with the Oakland Athletics at Globe Life Park.

Perez tossed his second straight shutout on Wednesday, as he held the A's to just three hits and extended his scoreless innings streak to 26. Since giving up four runs in a win over the Boston Red Sox back on April 8, Perez has not allowed a run his last three times out and is 4-0 on the year with a 1.42 ERA.

"Execution. I'm executing my pitches and keeping the ball down," Perez said. "That's big for me."

The 26-innning streak is the seventh-longest scoreless stretch in club history. The major leaguer to make four straight scoreless starts was Ryan Dempster, who did it for the Chicago Cubs over five consecutive from June 5- July 14, 2012.

Perez is 3-3 with a 4.18 ERA in six career starts against the Athletics.

Oakland, meanwhile, counters with an unbeaten hurler of its own in lefty Scott Kazmir, who is 3-0 with a 1.62 ERA. Kazmir beat Houston on Thursday, as he held it to a run and five hits over six innings. He also fanned seven and has 31 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings.

"It's important to be able to have that foundation early in the year and be able to kind of build on it throughout every start," Kazmir said. "I'm kind of in and out on how I feel stuff-wise, but just to stay within myself and make the adjustments as the game goes on is big for me."

Kazmir has faced the Rangers 14 times and is 6-4 with a 3.09 ERA.

Sonny Gray continued to impress in Monday's opener, as he tossed a three-hit shutout in the A's 4-0 victory.

Gray (4-1) added six strikeouts and walked just one in a dominant 108-pitch performance that helped Oakland win for only the third time in its last eight games. The young right-hander didn't allow a runner past second and let few balls out of the infield, with 15 of his 27 outs coming on the ground.

"Gray was in a groove," said Rangers designated hitter Mitch Moreland. "He had his stuff, he was moving the ball around and was controlling his breaking ball in there. He made it tough. We couldn't get anything going."

Texas didn't get the same efficiency out of its starter, as Yu Darvish (1-1) was tagged for four runs on six hits while walking two over 3 1/3 shaky innings in by far his shortest and most ineffective outing of the young season.

"We tried to make him work early on," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said of the game-plan against Darvish. "You know you're usually not going to knock him out of the game. Hopefully you get his pitch count up, score a few runs off him and hopefully you get him out of the game sooner than later."

Josh Donaldson aided Gray's cause with a two-run single and Josh Reddick finished 3-for-4 with an RBI triple in the win.

Texas swept the A's last weekend.

04/29 10:37:20 ET

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