Another solid start from Perez sparks Rangers
AUG 17, 2013 10:42p ET
The rookie lefty overcame a shaky start and pitched into the eighth inning, outdueling idol Felix Hernandez and leading the Rangers to a 15-3 victory. It's the most runs the Rangers have scored in a game since tallying 15 against the Los Angeles Angels last Aug. 2.
The offense outburst was great, but it was the continued emergence of Perez that stole the show.
"He's thrown some real good games for us and you're watching grow in front of your eyes," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "But as I've always said a couple of outings don't make a season. Just let the kid continue to pitch, continue to have fun and continue to grow. Just watch and enjoy it."
Perez (6-3) has now reeled off four consecutive quality starts and is 3-0 with a 2.42 ERA in his three August starts.
It didn't look like it was going to be that kind of start for him early. He was down 1-0 before getting an out as Kyle Seager's RBI single put the Mariners up 1-0. But as has been the case in the last four starts, Perez recovered.
Perez (6-3) allowed runs in each of the first three innings but the 22-year-old never had a meltdown. By the time he got into a groove so did the Texas offense against Seattle's Cy Young Award contender and the Rangers were off to the races.
Perez said he wasn't thinking about his matchup against fellow Venezuelan Hernandez even though his family and friends were. His goal was to continue to build on his success.
He felt like he did that as he threw 97 pitches before getting lifted after allowing a leadoff single in the eighth in what was then a 7-3 game.
"I just felt good because we won tonight," Perez said. "The most important thing is we win. The first three innings I didn't feel like I dominated. I just continued to fight and the last four I took a big breath and told myself I had to throw strikes and attack the zone and that's what I did. The guys supported me with runs and I felt better."
The support against Hernandez came in the second inning. After needing just eight pitches to retire the Rangers in the first, Texas sent 10 batters to the plate in the second inning as Hernandez needed 36 pitches to get three outs.
Down 2-0, the Rangers got on the board with a Jurickson Profar RBI single and then took the lead when David Murphy lifted a two-run double to center. Leonys Martin pushed the lead to 4-2 with a suicide squeezes to score Profar and Elvis Andrus made it 5-0 with another single.
Hernandez lasted just five innings and the five earned runs equaled the total he's allowed in his last six starts heading into Saturday's game.
Perez fared much better, allowing eight hits, striking out five and walking just one.
"We've seen a lot of growing up with him (Perez) since he first made his debut last year," said Murphy, who went 2 for 3 with two RBI. "The stuff has always been there. Anytime you see a lefty throwing 95 with a changeup that's that good, you know he's big league material. He's got to get comfortable and learn how to pitch at this level. I think tonight was a great example of that."
After Perez exited, he turned into a spectator watching the Texas offense.
The Rangers scored eight runs in the eighth inning as the Rangers sent 13 batters to the plate.
By the time Perez was getting his postgame handshakes the Rangers had collected 14 hits on the night and nine players had at least an RBI.
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