Rangers host Orioles with Beltre on brink of 3,000 (Jul 30, 2017)

BY AP • July 30, 2017

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas left-hander Martin Perez has given the Rangers the kind of rotation stability the Baltimore Orioles were yearning for when traded for Jeremy Hellickson on Friday.

Perez (5-8, 4.67 ERA) will start the series finale against the Orioles on Sunday opposite left-hander Wade Miley (4-9, 5.69), with each team looking to take the series after Baltimore's 4-0 victory on Saturday night.

Perez also hopes to be a part of history as Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre is one hit from joining the 3,000-hit club after going 1-for-4 on Saturday.

Perez will make his 20th start for the Rangers on Sunday, and while his overall numbers haven't been as good as he'd like, he piles up innings (108) and keeps the Rangers in games. Two of his starts of at least seven innings have come since the All-Star break and both those have been quality starts.

"I'm trying to attack the hitters," Perez said. "They (the Orioles) like to swing a lot. I'm just trying to keep the ball down and use all my pitches with the hitters. We've been playing good, too. I'm trying to have a great game tomorrow. I know it's going to be hot, but I like to pitch in day games."

Perez will be pitching on five days' rest after his last start. He went seven innings against Miami and allowed three runs and got no run support in a 4-0 loss. The extra day off will help Perez deal with the Texas heat, but that's something he looks forward to.

"I like to have a good tempo," said Perez, who is 2-2 with a 4.70 ERA in five career starts against Baltimore. "I don't want my guys to get tired. It's going to be hot. When you have a good tempo, you're going to be ready for the balls that are hit and catch the ball."

Miley has had little go right for him recently, which is one of the reasons the Orioles added some starting depth with Hellickson.

In Miley's last three starts, he's 0-2 with a 9.77 ERA in 15 2/3 innings. Those ugly numbers extend to his outings against the Rangers. Miley has made eight starts against Texas and is 1-5 with a 6.11 ERA.

Despite the ugly numbers and the addition of Hellickson, Miley's spot in the rotation appears to be safe. One of the reasons for that there is some uncertainly about Hellickson after he was involved in a car accident on his way to the airport to join Baltimore.

If Hellickson is OK, one option could be a six-man rotation. But it's too early for manager Buck Showalter to commit to that.

"All things are on the table until we can find out where he (Hellickson) is physically," Showalter said. "Until Jeremy gets here, we got to figure out the trading deadline and everything works out, it makes no sense to talk about it and try to project it. You can speculate, but I can't speculate about something I don't know about until the smoke clears Monday (when the Orioles are back in Baltimore)."



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