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Rangers lefty Martin Perez has gone from spectacular to struggling with 8-3 loss to Red Sox

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ARLINGTON, Texas - There was a stretch not too long ago when Martin Perez was pitching deep into games without giving up any runs.

Now the young Texas Rangers left-hander is walking off the mound early with his team in big holes.

Perez lost his third consecutive start since the end of his 26-inning scoreless streak, not even making it out of the fourth inning Saturday night in an 8-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox.

"Too many balls, man. Trying to overthrow," Perez said. "I think I get mad and when I get mad I lose my mind. ... And I think that happened with me tonight."

After Jonny Gomes' two-run single in the fourth that gave Boston a 6-0 lead, Perez was done. He allowed 14 base runners (nine hits, four walks and a hit batter).

Since eight scoreless innings against Houston followed by consecutive three-hit shutouts last month, Perez (4-3) has given up 19 runs over 13 1-3 innings his past three games. His ERA has more than tripled in that span — from 1.42 to 4.38.

"I don't know if something's out of whack, but it didn't seem like he could get in a rhythm," manager Ron Washington said.

Despite his struggles, Perez said he feels good and will be ready for his next start.

A night after Boston managed only one hit off Texas ace Yu Darvish, though David Ortiz believes it should be two, the Red Sox were hitting from the start Saturday.

"The attitude in the clubhouse early before the game was nothing about last night," manager John Farrell said. "It was more about how we were going to attack Perez, and we did a very good job."

Ortiz broke up Darvish's no-hit bid Friday night with a clean single with two outs in the ninth inning. There was also his towering flyball in the seventh that dropped untouched but was ruled an error after Darvish had retired the first 20 Boston hitters — a scoring decision Ortiz indicated Saturday that he will appeal, though he felt the Red Sox as a group put their struggles behind them.

"Oh, you have to. It's not like there's any other choice," Ortiz said. "You got to come back and play the game."

Shane Victorino had three singles and drove in four runs.

There are no scoring debates for Ortiz this time. The slugger pulled the first pitch of the third into the right-field seats for his seventh homer. He hit a scorching liner into the left-field corner for a double came an inning later, when he scored as a part of a four-run outburst for a 6-0 Red Sox lead.

Asked about the unquestionable hits he had this time, Ortiz laughed, licked his thumb and made a motion with it to match what he said, "Turn the page."

Jon Lester (4-4) limited Texas to three runs and four hits over seven innings. The lefty, coming off a career-high 15 strikeouts in a week earlier against Oakland, struck out eight more to match Detroit's Max Scherzer at 66 for the American League lead.

"I got away with a lot of pitches, we were able to keep them off balance just enough to get some foul balls and some bad contact," Lester said. "Definitely a grind tonight."

The Rangers didn't have a base runner against Lester until Shin-Soo Choo led off the fourth with a double to deep centre beyond the reach of centre fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. He came home on a sacrifice fly by Prince Fielder before Alex Rios added an RBI triple.

Notes: Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus, who significantly trimmed his beard reminiscent of Abraham Lincoln's, stretched his hitting streak to seven games with an RBI double in the fifth. ... Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux was ejected in the eighth inning by first-base umpire Vic Carapazza. Washington said it was for arguing balls and strikes. .... Boston RH John Lackey, a Texas native, is scheduled in Sunday's season series finale to make his 20th career road start against the Rangers. That will break his tie with Seattle's Felix Hernandez for the most by a Texas opponent. ... Texas lefty Robbie Ross (1-3), who starts Sunday, has lost three straight starts and each of his past two games have ended as 12-1 Rangers losses.

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