Texas Rangers

Rangers can’t recover from Perez’s bumpy ride

Granted, he’s only one start into the new season, but Martin Perez looks like he is still the master of being consistently inconsistent.

The book on the Texas Rangers’ left-hander is that he can be good, very good, for much, if not almost all, of his outings. But one inning, sometimes a bonanza for the opposing team and sometimes just enough for the opponents, seems to force its way onto Perez’s pitching line.

Sometimes the Rangers can overcome the one-inning derailment. Sometimes, as was the case Tuesday night, they can’t.

Cleveland jumped to a quick three-run lead against Perez and withstood a mammoth two-run homer by Joey Gallo en route to a 4-3 victory that left the Rangers 0-2 for the first time since 2007.

“Early his delivery was quick and he was pulling off,” manager Jeff Banister said. “He fell behind, walks, and in advantage counts, they were able to get the ball through the infield and score some runs. After he gave up the runs, he want out and found his deliver. He was very efficient, got ahead and didn’t get a lot of solid contact off the barrel.

“It was encouraging to see him settle down. Obviously, we have to get to a point where he can put that together throughout an entire game.”

The Rangers had three chances to tie the game in the ninth after Nomar Mazara and Mike Napoli opened with back-to-back doubles, but Rougned Odor, pinch-hitter Jurickson Profar and Gallo struck out.

That left Perez on the hook for the loss even though his final line rates as a quality start: three runs on five hits in six innings. All three runs came in the first two innings on four of the Indians’ hits, and he walked four. The second inning served as Perez’s speed bump as Cleveland also notched three of its hits and scored twice as Perez threw 21 of his 92 pitches.

The Indians scored their first run on Carlos Santana’s leadoff homer.

But then Perez, pitching on his 26th birthday, settled in after needed 43 pitches in the first two innings. He allowed only one more hit, a single Michael Brantley to start the third, and recorded two of his four strikeouts.

“I think in the second inning I was thinking too much,” Perez said. “I just said, ‘I’m going to work quick and not think too much and let’s pitch, let’s throw the ball where [catcher Robinson] Chirinos is calling for it.’ After that we had good results.”

He pitched the final four innings down only one thanks to Gallo’s moonshot off Carlos Carrasco in the second. The blast, which landed more than halfway up the upper home-run porch in right field, was measured at 442 feet by ESPN’s home run tracker.

The homer snapped Gallo’s 0-for-25 skid dating to last season. He muscled a single to center in the seventh inning after the Indians had scored once in the top half to pad their lead.

“Joey put together some really good at-bats over the first two nights,” Banister said. “We know his power. Immediately off the bat you know it was a homer. It was just a matter of how far it was going to go.”

The Rangers will try to avoid a season-opening three-game sweep Wednesday night as Cole Hamels takes on the defending American League champions. The Rangers are 0-2 for the first time since Ron Washington’s first team opened the 2007 campaign 0-3 en route to a 75-87 record as they entered a rebuild mode.

The Rangers’ two starting pitchers, Yu Darvish and Perez, have combined to walk nine in 12  1/3 innings. That is one of the big takeaways for Banister during the 0-2 start after the Rangers put an emphasis in spring training on throwing strikes.

Rangers pitchers had the second-most walks (534) in the AL last season and the second-fewest strikeouts (1,154) in the majors.

Jeff Wilson: 817-390-7760, @JeffWilson_FWST

Cleveland

120

000

100

4

7

0

Texas

020

000

001

3

7

1

Cleveland AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Santana 1b

4

1

2

2

1

0

.500

Lindor ss

3

0

0

0

1

1

.000

Brantley lf

4

0

2

1

0

2

.333

Encarnacion dh

3

0

0

0

1

1

.250

Ramirez 2b

3

0

0

0

1

0

.167

Guyer rf

3

1

1

0

0

0

.333

Almonte ph-rf

1

0

0

0

0

1

.333

Diaz 3b

4

0

0

0

0

1

.125

Martinez 3b

0

0

0

0

0

0

---

Gomes c

3

1

0

0

1

2

.000

Jackson cf

4

1

2

1

0

1

.500

Totals 32

4

7

4

5

9

 

Texas AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Gomez cf

4

0

0

0

0

1

.125

Choo dh

4

0

1

0

0

1

.250

Mazara rf

4

1

2

0

0

0

.500

Napoli 1b

3

0

1

1

0

1

.167

DeShields pr

0

0

0

0

0

0

---

Odor 2b

4

0

1

0

0

2

.375

Rua lf

3

1

0

0

0

0

.000

Profar ph

1

0

0

0

0

1

.000

Gallo 3b

4

1

2

2

0

2

.286

Andrus ss

2

0

0

0

1

0

.333

Chirinos c

3

0

0

0

0

2

.000

Totals 32

3

7

3

1

10

 

E—Gallo (1). LOB—Cleveland 6, Texas 4. 2B—Mazara (2), Napoli (1). HR—Santana (1), off Perez; Gallo (1), off Carrasco. RBIs—Santana 2 (3), Brantley (2), Jackson (1), Napoli (1), Gallo 2 (2). CS—Lindor (1). Runners left in scoring position—Cleveland 4 (Lindor, Encarnacion, Guyer, Diaz); Texas 2 (Odor, Gallo). RISP—Cleveland 3 for 9; Texas 1 for 5. Runners moved up—Ramirez. GIDP—Ramirez, Andrus. DP—Cleveland 1 (Lindor, Ramirez, Santana); Texas 1 (Andrus, Odor, Napoli).

Cleveland

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Carrasco W, 1-0

5 2/3

4

2

2

1

7

78

3.18

Logan H, 1

 1/3

0

0

0

0

0

3

0.00

Shaw H, 1

1

1

0

0

0

0

8

0.00

Miller H, 1

1

0

0

0

0

0

7

0.00

Allen S, 2-2

1

2

1

1

0

3

25

4.50

Texas

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Perez L, 0-1

6

5

3

3

4

4

91

4.50

Jeffress

 1/3

1

1

1

0

1

12

27.00

Alvarez

 1/3

1

0

0

1

1

16

0.00

Leclerc

2

0

0

0

0

3

24

0.00

Claudio

 1/3

0

0

0

0

0

4

0.00

Inherited runners-scored—Leclerc 2-0. HBP—Carrasco (Napoli). Umpires—Home, Mark Wegner; First, Marty Foster; Second, Mike Muchlinski; Third, Mike Winters. T—3:14. A—23,574 (48,114).

Indians at Rangers

7 p.m. Wednesday, FSSW

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