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Perez Dazzles, Rangers Still Fizzle

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Baltimore Orioles' Ryan McKenna rounds third after hitting a solo home run off of Texas Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez, rear, in the second inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. | Image by Tony Gutierrez/AP Photo

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Martín Pérez tied a career-high nine strikeouts against the Orioles on Wednesday afternoon in Arlington, pitching six innings of one-run ball, allowing five hits and walking three.

It was all for naught.


The Rangers dropped the season’s final contest against Baltimore 3-6 and were swept by the AL East squad 6-0 in ’22, getting outscored 40-23 in those contests.

It was almost 15 years ago that Texas scored an MLB record 30 runs in one game against the O’s in a 30-3 win. This season, Texas has scored 30 runs in the last nine games (3-6) as they continue to slide down the AL West Standings and out of Wild Card contention.

“Martin was his usual self, keeping us in the game, and we had a couple of opportunities early and just didn’t cash in,” Rangers skipper Chris Woodward said after the loss.

Perez’s final strikeout came in a bases-loaded jam in the fifth inning. Then in the sixth inning, the Ranger’s ace got Jorge Mateo to line into a double play, again keeping his team in the game, before departing the contest with no decision in a 1-1 tie.

Perez’s outing was then squandered as the overworked Texas bullpen coughed up five runs in three innings as the Rangers sank in a 6-3 final.

The usually dependable Matt Moore lasted just .1 innings, allowing a go-ahead homer to Baltimore, and then was yanked after loading the bases in the seventh, making way for José Leclerc. Leclerc got out of the jam in Moore’s absence by getting the final two hitters of the frame to pop out and fly out, thwarting the Baltimore rally.

Leclerc, however, did not fare as well in the eighth inning as he yielded two earned runs and ultimately suffered the loss, dropping his mark on the year to 0-1.

Jonathan Hernández pitched the final frame, allowing two earned runs on one hit while walking one and striking out two. Jonah Heim hit his 13th long-fly of the season in the bottom of the seventh to knot the game at 2-2 before the bullpen’s shoddy outing.

Adolis Garcia picked up his team-leading 64th RBI of the year in the bottom of the second to tie what was a 1-1 affair at the time, but Texas was 1-of-7 at the plate with runners in scoring position (RISP.) Marcus Semien hit homerun No.15 in the bottom of the ninth, though the solo shot was ultimately meaningless.

Texas welcomes AL Central Chicago to town on Thursday. The White Sox boast a record of 53-51, 7-3 in their last 10, and winners of two straight. The Rangers, however, took two of three in June against the Southsiders.

Probable starters in the contest on August 4 are Johnny Cueto for the Sox and Cole Ragans for Texas, making his MLB debut following two Tommy John Surgeries. This season, Ragans’ numbers in this minor league include an 8-5 record with 94.2 innings pitched and an ERA of 3.04. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.    

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