ARLINGTON, Texas — Martin Perez probably didn’t have the major league debut he was expecting Wednesday night.
The 21-year-old, who entered the season as the Rangers’ top pitching prospect, opened the eighth with a six-run lead, then proceeded to allow a run on two hits as the Detroit Tigers scored four times in the inning.
To make matters worse, shortly before exiting, Perez was tackled by 275-pound Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder while covering first as Fielder tried to beat the throw. It did appear as if Fielder was trying to soften his fall, not deliver a serious blow.
“Prince wins that battle every time,” Rangers designated hitter Michael Young said. “I’m just glad nobody got hurt.”
As far as how Perez threw in his 20-pitch debut, Young gave the following assessment of the left-hander.
“We know he’s got good stuff,” Young said. “We’ve seen him in spring training. We’ve gotten to get some small glimpses of him. He’s just got to command his fastball and he’ll be fine.”
The Rangers held on for a 13-9 victory, their second in as many nights against the team they defeated in last year’s American League Championship Series.