In the last six weeks or so, Martin Perez has been everything the Rangers hoped he would become a decade ago when they signed him out of Venezuela.
Since losing to the Twins on August 4, Perez has started seven games and the Rangers — and Perez — have now won all seven of them. Over that span, Perez has an ERA of 3.15 and has walked just nine while not allowing a home run since August 14.
Tonight, in a game against a team he could very well be starting against in an October Wild Card game, Perez went 5 2⁄3 and allowed five runs. You might be saying, “Meh...” but only two of those runs were earned as the defense behind ‘Teen was sloppy to start the game.
The Yankees scored four times in the top of the second inning to take the lead in a disastrous frame that would have sunk previous Perez outings, but he was able to bounce back and give the Rangers nearly six innings of quality pitching as the offense clawed back into the game.
Eventually the offense stopped clawing and started bludgeoning as Texas scored 11 runs on 15 hits to put that top of the second inning in their rearview mirror.
Bonus: The Rangers were able to knock starter Masahiro Tanaka out of the game after three innings so Texas was able to get into the Yankees bullpen a little which is always nice to begin a series.
Texas is now just four games back of New York for the AL’s top Wild Card spot.
Player of the Game: After Elvis Andrus began his evening driving Adrian Beltre’s new ATV on the field as a gift for Adrian Beltre Day in Arlington, he spent his night helping to replace Adrian Beltre’s bat in the lineup. After a big series in Atlanta, Elvis went 3-for-4 with a walk, a run scored, and three RBIs, including plating go-ahead run in the bottom of the fifth.
Elvis is now hitting .307, is in the top ten in fWAR in the AL, and he’s going to get a whole bunch of deserved AL MVP votes.
Up Next: The Rangers are on national TV on Saturday afternoon in the second game of this series against the Yankees. Andrew Cashner will make the start against RHP Luis Severino of New York. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 pm CT.