Martin Perez's return to Arlington is getting closer and closer, as he passed another test tonight in his latest rehab start for Round Rock.
Perez faced off against Omaha tonight, and three batters into the game, he'd allowed a run, with an RBI single to the #3 hitter driving home the leadoff hitter, who had doubled. Perez only allowed a single hit and no walks the rest of the way, ending up with a final line of 1 run allowed in 4 IP, with 2 Ks, 0 walks and 3 hits allowed. Perez threw 37 strikes out of 51 pitches, and with a 4 IP or 60 pitch limit, he likely ended up throwing some pitches in the bullpen afterwards.
Perez's next rehab start would seem to be Thursday, July 2, when he'll be slated to go 5 IP or 75 pitches. After that, he'll be looking at 90 pitches, a level which would theoretically allow him to return to the big league rotation if the team decided they had an opening there. In contrast to Matt Harrison, who has been up and down in his starts, Perez has 10 Ks and allowed 10 hits in 9.2 IP, with three runs allowed and just a single walk. The reports on his stuff have been very positive, and it sounds like he's one or two rehab starts away from being one of the five best starters in the organization again.
Delino DeShields and Josh Hamilton are also in the Round Rock lineup tonight. DeShields is leading off and playing DH, and as of this post, has 2 hits and a walk in 4 PAs. Hamilton also has a hit.