ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Even after Kole Calhoun couldn't get a runner home from third with nobody out, the Los Angeles Angels still had Mike Trout and Albert Pujols coming up against Texas pitcher Martin Perez.
Score one for the 25-year-old left-hander who has let jams rattle him in the past.
Perez finally won a May start after yet another strong outing thanks to his sixth-inning escape, and the Rangers beat the Angels 4-1 on Tuesday night.
''You hope first and third, nobody out, at least you're coming out of that inning tied in the ballgame,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ''He made some pitches, and they made some plays on the defensive side.''
After Shane Robinson was thrown out at home trying to score on Calhoun's hard grounder to Mitch Moreland at first base, Perez struck out Trout looking and pitched carefully to Pujols, walking him to load the bases.
Perez (2-4) finished the 31-pitch inning with a strikeout of Johnny Giavotella, who had a career-best 12-game hitting streak snapped. Perez has six quality starts in six appearances against the Angels.
Winless in May despite a 2.59 ERA in four starts coming in, Perez dropped that number to 2.08 with six strikeouts in six shutout innings.
''That was one of the best I've seen him,'' Calhoun said. ''He was throwing the ball harder, it was moving a little bit more but he just went out and competed and threw the ball well.''
Perez pumped his fist and shouted after getting Giavotella - and kept on hollering as he came off the mound. He was excited in part because he has a history of struggling when he gets in trouble.
''It was probably as calm as we've seen him in those type of situations all year long,'' Texas manager Jeff Banister said. ''Early on in the season, those type of situations he let speed up on him and seemed to get out of control and would lose the strike zone.''
Run support for Perez has been among the worst in the majors. But rookie Nomar Mazara homered for the first time in his home park right after Perez escaped the jam.
Mazara's seventh homer was a two-run shot into the upper deck in right field off Jhoulys Chacin (0-1) for a 3-0 lead in the sixth. The 21-year-old Mazara had his third three-hit game and reached base all four times.
The Rangers lost the shutout bid when 30-year-old rookie reliever Matt Bush gave up his first run in his sixth outing on a run-scoring groundout by Pujols in the eighth.
Sam Dyson struck out two in a perfect ninth for his third save in three chances since becoming the closer and fifth overall this season.
RHP Tim Lincecum pitched a simulated game in Arizona on Monday, three days after signing a one-year deal with the Angels. The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner, who had left hip surgery eight months ago, is scheduled to throw Saturday before starting a rehab assignment at Triple-A Salt Lake.
Yunel Escobar's sixth-inning single was his 56th hit of the season, most in the majors for third basemen. ... Trout extended his hitting streak to seven games with a double in the eighth.
Angels: LHP C.J. Wilson (left shoulder inflammation) and 2B Cliff Pennington (strained left hamstring) will start rehab assignments with Class A Inland Empire on Wednesday. Wilson hasn't pitched this season, and Pennington has been on the disabled list since May 13.
Rangers: Pitching coach Doug Brocail anticipates RHP Yu Darvish having a pitch limit around 90 for his first major league start Saturday since elbow surgery last year. That limit is similar to his final rehab appearance. Darvish last pitched in the majors on Aug. 9, 2014.
Angels: LHP Hector Santiago (3-2, 3.93 ERA) makes his first start since getting ejected in the third inning of a 9-4 loss to Baltimore on Friday for gesturing toward plate umpire John Tumpane. Santiago, who was upset over balls and strikes, had already given up three home runs.
Rangers: RHP Colby Lewis (3-0, 2.75) has allowed four earned runs in 21 innings (1.71 ERA) over his last three starts with 17 strikeouts and one walk. He got his 100th career win in the majors and Japan combined with a 2-1 victory over Houston on Friday. He has pitched at least seven innings in a career-high five straight starts.