BALTIMORE -- Martin Perez stood smiling in front of his locker after Saturday night's game. He had plenty to be happy about.Perez last pitched on April 29 but came off the disabled list to give the Rangers a strong start at Camden Yards. The only problem was the Texas offense
BALTIMORE -- Martin Perez stood smiling in front of his locker after Saturday night's game. He had plenty to be happy about.
Perez last pitched on April 29 but came off the disabled list to give the Rangers a strong start at Camden Yards. The only problem was the Texas offense could not help him as the Orioles edged the Rangers, 1-0.
Perez had been on the disabled list with right elbow discomfort. That's his non-throwing elbow, and the 27-year-old underwent surgery on it in the offseason after an accident at his ranch in Venezuela.
The left-hander turned in his best performance this season. He came in with a 9.67 ERA in his five games but allowed one run on five hits in seven innings, with four strikeouts and two walks.
This was Perez's longest start this season.
"It was a good outing for me," Perez said. "To come back after two months and a half and throw a game like this made me happy. I'm just trying to control the game every time and throw the pitch where I wanted, and that's it."
Manager Jeff Banister thought Perez started a bit slow but as the game went on, Perez began to roll.
"He got his tempo in place, started pounding the strike zone," Banister said. "You saw these guys get in swing mode, and he was able to record the outs that he needed to. I thought he did a great job of mixing with the four-seam fastball, the changeup, the sinker and the breaking ball."
Perez escaped a jam in the sixth where the Orioles had runners on second and third with one out and a run already in by retiring the next two batters.
Shortstop Elvis Andrus helped by making a leaping catch of an Adam Jones line drive, and Perez then got Mark Trumbo on a grounder to third and finish the inning.
"I was happy with his performance," Banister said. "Once he got into the rhythm, I felt good where he was at. I felt good how he threw the ball."
The Rangers threatened in the eighth by putting two on with none out. But Mychal Givens picked off pinch-runner Isiah Kiner-Falefa at second and then took care of the next two batters, and the Orioles held the 1-0 lead.
Shin-Soo Choo extended his extended his single-season, club-record on-base streak with a leadoff walk in the first. That streak now stands at 50 games.
Perez now can feel better about the second half after pitching so well following a long layoff. He did not like that the Rangers lost, but he kept them in the game -- a good reason to smile any time.
"We fight to the last out; I think it was a great game," Perez said. "Everything was where I want it. I throw a lot of pitches for strikes."
The Rangers tied a season high with three errors. Two of them came in the sixth inning, and one led to the Orioles' only run. This is the third time this season the Rangers have committed three errors in a game.
ROBINSON A FAN OF BELTRE
Orioles Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson complimented Adrian Beltre, saying the Rangers third baseman certainly impressed him. Beltre is 104 starts behind Robinson, who has made the most starts ever at third base.
"Obviously, he has been the greatest, probably ever," Beltre said. "That means a lot. To be able to know that he at least knows who I am [is great]."
Mike Minor (6-5, 4.56 ERA) closes out the first half of the season for the Rangers in a 12:05 p.m. CT meeting with the Orioles on Sunday. Minor lost his last start but is 2-1 with a 2.65 ERA in his last six games and will be working on an extra day's rest. The Orioles have yet to confirm a starter as it will likely be a bullpen game for them.
Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com based in Baltimore.