One of the highlights of an otherwise bleak baseball season for the Rangers is the re-emergence of pitcher Martin Perez, who started his MLB career in Texas and returned to the ball club via free agency this off-season.
“He’s huge,” Rangers skipper Tony Beasley told MLB.com. “He means everything to us. It gives us a chance to win every time out. He competes; he battles into the sixth or the seventh or what-have-you. The things that he’s capable of doing, it’s not easy to go out there and just do that type of thing day in and day out, outing after outing, against tough lineups.”
Perez pushed his record on the year to 11-6 on the season after winning a 4-1 contest with visiting Toronto on Sunday. Perez’s 11 wins account for 18.33% of the Rangers’ wins this season (60-79).
“I’m just trying to give my best every time,” Perez told MLB.com. “I’ve been doing this all year, and I’ve been consistent. That’s the only choice that I have. I just go out there and pound the zone and throw my best game that day. It’s been really good. You throw a quality start, and you have a chance to win games. That’s what we’re looking for.”
The 31-year-old left-handed hurler tossed six innings in the win, allowing one earned run on six hits with a walk and seven punchouts.
“Proud of my roots and my culture,” Perez wrote on social media. “11 Victories, leaving everything on the diamond. Let’s go for more. Let’s Go, Rangers.”
Jesus Tinoco, Matt Moore, and Jose Leclerc each pitched a scoreless inning after Perez departed the game, with Tinoco earning his third hold, Moore his ninth, and Leclerc notched his fourth save of the season.
Offensively, the Rangers batters chased Blue Jays starting pitcher Trevor Richards after just .1 innings pitched, getting after him for three hits and a run – Nathaniel Lowe belted Corey Seager home with a double – before the righty was yanked from the contest.
In the bottom of the third inning, Adolis Garcia belted his 24th homer of the season with Lowe on first to push the Texas lead to 3-0 early. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Leody Taveras hit a solo homer, his fourth of the year, for a Rangers’ insurance run.