Martin Perez’s stat line is a little misleading. He allowed five runs on five hits over five innings on Tuesday afternoon, but it could have been much better.
Perez opened with three perfect innings, allowed a single run in the fourth and then saw what could have been a scoreless fifth turn into a four-run inning. In the end, the results aren’t what mattered in the Texas Rangers’ 9-3 loss to the Brewers at Maryvale Baseball Park.
“I feel good, I’m going to be ready,” Perez said. “My job is to attack the zone like I did today and we’ll be good.”
Perez retired the first nine batters he faced before giving up a double to Carlos Gomez to start the fourth. Gomez scored two batters later on a groundout to second by Ryan Braun.
Perez ran into more trouble in the fifth. He issued a leadoff walk to Rickie Weeks, but he appeared to have a double play in line when Khris Davis lined out to left and Brad Snyder’s throw beat Weeks to first. But first baseman Ronald Guzman couldn’t make the short-hop scoop.
Mark Reynolds followed with a routine fly ball to right that Engel Beltre lost in the sun. The result of that play was an RBI double. Martin Maldonado then reached on a bunt single down the third-base line and Gomez sent a three-run homer onto the left-field lawn.
So a potential scoreless inning turned into a four-run disaster for Perez and the Rangers.
“In those situations, I have to focus on what I have to do,” Perez said. “You can’t control that. Just stay focused on the hitter.”
Perez threw 83 pitches and will likely get close to the 100-pitch mark in his next outing.
Offensively, the Rangers were held scoreless until the ninth inning when Guzman lined a three-run homer over the right-center field fence. It’s the second homer of the spring by Guzman, the 19-year-old prospect who spent last season at Class A Hickory.
“Oh, man, he’s going to be a monster,” Washington said. “I like him. He’s not scared. He’s just a baby, but he’s not scared.”