ARLINGTON -- Starter Martin Perez earned his first win of the season, and the Rangers took their second straight over the Yankees with a 3-2 victory on Wednesday night. The Yankees have lost 10 of their last 14 games.
Perez, now 1-2 with a 4.20 ERA, allowed two runs on six hits, two walks and three strikeouts. All three strikeouts came in the first inning. The back end of the Rangers' bullpen closed it out, with Jake Diekman pitching two scoreless innings and Shawn Tolleson working the ninth for his seventh save.
"Martin getting a win, hopefully it will settle him some," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "He came out strong in the first. You could see some urgency. We made some plays behind him. He battled. Not his cleanest outing, but good enough."
Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez, after missing two games with a tight left oblique, returned to the lineup and went 3-for-3 with his 690th home run. Starter CC Sabathia took the loss after allowing three runs in six innings.
"The team is playing with a lot of effort and running into a little tough luck," Rodriguez said. "Overall, I like the energy, the effort."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Andrus delivers again:Elvis Andrus entered the game hitting .387 with runners on base. He grounded out in his first try but came through in the sixth. After Rougned Odor walked with two outs, Andrus lined a triple into the gap in right-center to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead.
"I was aggressive early and got behind in the count," Andrus said. "With two strikes, I thought if he goes middle away, I'm not going to try to do too much, just try to hit it the other way." More >
Yanks cash in on free passes: Perez walked only two batters on Wednesday, but they were the first two batters of the second inning, and the first of them, Mark Teixeira, went on to score New York's first run. After putting Teixeira on, Perez issued a five-pitch walk to Rodriguez. Brian McCann then hit into a double play, pushing Teixeira to third, and Starlin Castro singled home the run.
Rua scores aggressive run: The Rangers had Ryan Rua at third, Odor at second and one out in the second when Hanser Alberto hit a grounder back to the mound. Sabathia looked at Rua, then flipped the ball to first for the out. Rua bolted for the plate and beat Teixeira's throw for the Rangers' first run.
"I started going, CC looked me back and then turned away," Rua said. "When he turned away, I went. That part of the game, you're going to take a chance, try to put pressure on them. Aggressive baserunning is a big part of our game."
Double play kills potential rally: With the score tied at 2, Carlos Beltran singled off Perez to lead off the sixth inning. But Teixeira grounded to shortstop to start a double play that left the bases empty with two outs for Rodriguez, who doubled. The Yankees did not produce another baserunner the rest of the night, going 0-for-10 after that.
"It's frustrating," manager Joe Girardi said of the Yankees' struggles at the plate -- they have scored three runs or fewer in eight of the past nine games. "But it's going to turn, and when it does, it's going to turn big, and we're going to score a bunch of runs again.
"You can't lose perspective. It's 20 games, one-eighth of the season. You've got a long ways to go. This is going to turn."
WHAT'S NEXT Yankees:Masahiro Tanaka will start for the Yankees as they take on the Red Sox for the first time this season at 7:10 p.m. ET on Friday at Fenway Park.
Rangers: The Rangers open a three-game series with the Angels at 7:05 p.m. CT on Friday at Globe Life Park. Colby Lewis will face Los Angeles for the first time this season.