Left-hander Martin Perez is trying to put last season’s road woes behind ahead of his first road start of the season Friday at Seattle, but his numbers away from home in 2016 are pretty hard to ignore.
Perez went only 2-8 with a 5.78 ERA for the Texas Rangers when not at Globe Life Park.
“Last year is last year, man,” Perez said. “This is a new year. I feel different.”
One of Perez’s road wins came Sept. 6 at Safeco Field, and he traditionally pitches well against the Mariners (5-2, 3.16 ERA). He has the experience of the World Baseball Classic still blowing in his sails and some new tips on pitching from the Venezuela teammate he will be facing, Mariners ace Felix Hernandez.
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Hernandez didn’t tell Perez the best way to retire Mariners hitters Nelson Cruz, Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager, but they talked pitching and talked about how to attack certain hitters.
Perez will also have Adrian Beltre on his side. The injured third baseman has vowed to keep up his trash-talking with Hernandez despite being out with a strained right calf.
“We’re not teammates,” Perez said. “I’m going to do my job and I’m going to try — not try — I’m going to win it tomorrow.”