Rangers’ Choo hopes to extend streak against Orioles
BALTIMORE — The Texas Rangers will try to start a winning streak while Shin-Soo Choo attempts to reach base for the 50th straight game when they play the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday at Camden Yards.
The Rangers had lost three in a row before pinch-hitter Ryan Rua’s three-run homer helped them to a 5-4 victory over the Orioles in the series opener on Friday night.
Choo’s third-inning single stretched his streak to 49 games of reaching base, which already is a team record.
Rangers left-hander Martin Perez (2-3, 9.67 ERA) will make his first start since April 29 on Saturday. He has been out for more than two months because of soreness in his right (non-throwing) elbow.
Perez got knocked around in the first month of the season — hence the high ERA — but told reporters Friday that he felt much better and was ready to go.
“They know what I can do, and they know what kind of pitcher that I am, what kind of person, too,” Perez told reporters before the first game of the series. “I don’t need to show to these guys more than I can do. I’ll do what I can do.”
He has not done well against the Orioles in his career. Perez has a 2-3 career record and a 6.17 ERA in six starts against Baltimore.
Perez will go against Orioles rookie right-hander Yefry Ramirez (0-3, 3.93). He has pitched in four games, started three times and given Baltimore some pretty good efforts so far.
His biggest problem came in his last start when Ramirez gave up four runs and nine hits in four-plus innings against the New York Yankees this past Monday, and New York went on to a 10-2 victory.
Ramirez has shown good control and command in all four of his appearances and pushed fellow rookie David Hess out of the rotation and back to Triple-A Norfolk for now. Hess pitched well at times but had run into trouble while Ramirez fared better.
“(Ramirez has) got my eye,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter told the Baltimore Sun recently. “He’s got a feel for it. He’s got a nice demeanor to him.”
This will be Ramirez’s first appearance against the Texas Rangers, and these four games he has pitched in are his only major league outings.
For Texas, Rua’s pinch-homer was the first of his career. Delino DeShields came into the game as a defensive replacement and made a great sliding catch. He came out of Wednesday’s game in Boston in the sixth inning, made it through concussion protocol and had been cleared to play Friday.
Baltimore also could be making moves on other players, such as Adam Jones and Brad Brach, and could do what the New York Yankees did a few years ago — do a major restocking of their farm system if it gets good returns on its trades.
Baltimore now has its own three-game losing streak.