Perez, Rangers give Reds blues

by Dan M | Posted on Saturday, June 29th, 2013

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ARLINGTON – Texas wore blue jerseys for the ninth game in a row Friday night and beat the Reds, 4-0, behind the second straight outstanding start from 22 year-old Martin Perez.

It was the eighth win in those nine games, as the Rangers maintained their hold on first place in the West for the seventh consecutive day.

It was a hot evening as the start time temperature was 100 degrees, but the heat did not bother Perez.  He threw six and two-thirds shutout innings on 79 pitches, allowing six hits, striking out three and walking one.  59 (66%) of the pitches were strikes.  He now has a streak of 11-2/3rds straight scoreless innings after shutting out St. Louis last Saturday over the final five innings he pitched.  The scoreless innings streak has lowered his ERA to 2.37.  He also won his second game in a week since being called up, to improve his record to 2-1 for the season.

Ranger manager Ron Washington was most complimentary of Perez after the game.

“He’s throwing strikes,” Washington said. “He has mound presence.  He’s doing everything he needs to do to be successful.”

Jason Frasor relieved Perez in the sixth and coaxed an inning ending ground ball force out with the bases loaded.  He and Robbie Ross finished off the shutout for Texas, which was the second in a row for the Rangers after Thursday’s complete game effort from Derek Holland.

Offensively, the Rangers started fast with a first inning run.  Adrian Beltre drove home Elvis Andrus with a two-out broken bat single.  First inning runs have been hard to come by for Texas, as it was their first since June 7, a span of 19 games.  For the season, Texas has just 19 first inning runs, by far the lowest total in the Major Leagues.

Texas extended the lead to 3-0 in the second inning with both runs scoring on bases loaded walks, both with full counts.  The Rangers drew six walks in the game, as they patiently ran up the Reds’ pitch count on a hot night.  In the fourth inning, the Rangers added another run when Beltre ran through third base coach Gary Pettis’s stop sign to score on Jurickson Profar’s single.

Johnny Cueto started for Cincinnati.  He was supposed to be the staff ace, as he has been the opening day starter for the Reds both this year and last.  Friday’s game however was only his ninth start of the year as he has twice been placed on the disabled list.  He may be headed back.  He left the game in the second inning with tightness in his right lat muscle.  He took the loss to fall to 4-2.

Perez’s pitching effort was supported by some outstanding glove work.  Profar made two sparkling plays at shortstop.  Ian Kinsler made a difficult over the shoulder catch in right center field.  Beltre made a fabulous play, fielding a ground ball in foul territory and throwing out Chris Helsey to end the game.  Mitch Moreland made outstanding stretches to complete those plays at first.  The infield also turned two sharp ground ball double plays.

Local media are imploring President of Baseball Operations Jon Daniels to trade for a big name pitcher.  However, the home grown Rangers keep going out and doing the job.  They came into Friday’s game with a 3.67 team ERA that ranked second in the American League.  Rookie Justin Grimm has matched Yu Darvish’s seven wins to lead the staff.  Derek Holland is just one behind with six.  Now Perez is giving every indication he’s going to be staying in the rotation.  With Alexi Ogando on the way soon, and perhaps Colby Lewis and Matt Harrison later; the Rangers have starting pitching options.

The series continues Saturday with Nick Tepesch (3-6) facing the Reds’ Mike Leake (7-3), and concludes Sunday afternoon with Darvish (7-3) pitted against Mat Latos (7-1).

Notes: The Rangers are now 7-5 in interleague play after Friday’s win.  The remaining eight interleague games will all be played in Arlington.  The opponents are the Reds the next two days, two with Milwaukee (August 13 & 14), three with Pittsburgh (September 9, 10 & 11), and one with Arizona to make up the rained out game of May 29 at a date to be announced. … Leonys Martin extended his career high hitting streak to 12 games with a sixth inning single Friday night.  He is hitting .405 during the streak. … Lance Berkman was not in the starting lineup Friday.  He has a sore knee, injured in a freakish accident as he slipped getting off the team plane Thursday.  Jurickson Profar started at short stop and Elvis Andrus was the designated hitter in Friday’s game. … Joakim Soria threw a scoreless inning in a minor league rehab appearance for Round Rock Friday night.  He gave up a hit and struck out two on 17 pitches, 13 of which were strikes.  He has now faced 13 batters in four minor league rehab appearances, retiring all but one and striking out six.  He is next scheduled to pitch Sunday for Round Rock. … Alexi Ogando threw a fifty pitch bullpen session Friday afternoon.  He will be evaluated Saturday to determine the next step to prepare for returning to the active roster.
Matt Harrison was also seen throwing in the outfield before Friday’s game.  There is no announced time table for his return, or even to begin minor league rehab outings.

 

 

 

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