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Rangers unable to overcome Perez's poor outing

Left-hander walks five in 1 2/3 innings in final start of season
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

SEATTLE -- Rangers left-hander Martin Perez's lost season is over and so could be his time with the club.

Perez was hoping for one last strong start to the season and to give the Rangers more reason to consider picking up his option for next season, but that didn't happen at Safeco Field on Friday night. Instead, Perez walked five in just 1 2/3 innings and the Mariners scored seven runs in the second inning on their way to a 12-6 victory.

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SEATTLE -- Rangers left-hander Martin Perez's lost season is over and so could be his time with the club.

Perez was hoping for one last strong start to the season and to give the Rangers more reason to consider picking up his option for next season, but that didn't happen at Safeco Field on Friday night. Instead, Perez walked five in just 1 2/3 innings and the Mariners scored seven runs in the second inning on their way to a 12-6 victory.

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Perez, given another chance to start after pitching well out of the bullpen, faced 10 batters and six reached base. He allowed just one hit, but the five walks tied a career high, which he had done just twice in 128 previous starts.

"Yeah, you know, I didn't think he had a feel for his release point," interim manager Don Wakamatsu said. "We're a little bit short on the bullpen right now, and he battled to get us through [until] his pitch count got up. … He's pitched well his last couple of outings, but it was a tough outing for him."

A double play helped Perez get out of the first inning without allowing a run. But he walked the first two hitters in the second and the inning quickly unraveled from there. He ended up throwing 45 pitches in the frame before Wakamatsu brought in Jeffrey Springs.

"Bad game ... I'm OK," Perez said. "I was just competing, trying to get out of that inning. I'm healthy, that's the most important thing. My velocity is there. I wanted to finish the season healthy, that means a lot to me. After the year I've had, you just go out there and compete and do the best you can. There is nothing else you can do."

Perez ends the season at 2-7 with a 6.22 ERA and a 1.78 WHIP over 15 starts and seven relief appearances. That is not what the Rangers were expecting after he won 13 games in 2017 while going 8-2 with a 3.77 ERA in his last 11 starts. That strong finish gave the Rangers high hopes for this year, but Perez was never the same pitcher after falling off a fence at his ranch in December and fracturing the radial head in his right elbow.

"Tough season," Perez said. "When you have a season like that, all you can do is learn from it, come back next year and put everything together. Do what you are able to do."

The Rangers hold a $7.5 million option on Perez for next season, with a $750,000 buyout. The Rangers told Perez in August, when he was demoted to the bullpen, that they weren't planning on picking up that option. That remains an unlikely proposition even for an organization that is starved for pitching.

"No, I think right now, we're just finishing the season," Wakamatsu said. "I think we'll have those discussions in the next couple of weeks. I think it's a tough year for him, obviously, but also I think that there's some hope in what he's done the last couple of outings other than today."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Rangers should have been out of the second inning with just two runs scored. Springs came in with the bases loaded and two outs, and got Jean Segura to hit a fly ball to deep right. Nomar Mazara got to the ball but dropped it and three runs ended up scoring on the play.

Video: TEX@SEA: 3 Mariners cross the plate on an error

SOUND SMART
Adrian Beltre had an RBI double in the fourth inning. That gives him 1,705 RBI for his career and he moves past Frank Thomas into 21st all-time. Honus Wagner is next on the list at 1,732. He drove in another run on a sacrifice fly in the fifth.

Video: TEX@SEA: Beltre passes Thomas on RBI list with double

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
The Rangers had two baserunners thrown out on one play in the seventh inning. It came when Rougned Odor was batting with Robinson Chirinos on second and Ronald Guzman at first. Odor swung and missed at a pitch that got away from catcher Mike Zunino. Chirinos started to advance to third, but stopped and went back to second. Guzman never stopped, trying for second. Zunino threw down to second, Chirinos was tagged out at the base and then Guzman was too in a rundown.

Video: TEX@SEA: Mariners turn 2 on poor baserunning

HE SAID IT
"It was outstanding effort. We talked about finishing hard and playing to the very end, and we had chances to come back and tie that ballgame after being down 9-0. I'm proud of these guys. You know, there were some mistakes made, but we're going to focus on the positive." -- Wakamatsu, on the Rangers' comeback after trailing 9-0 early

UP NEXT
Adrian Sampson (0-2, 4.96 ERA), who is from the Seattle area, pitches against the Mariners at 8:05 p.m. CT on Saturday at Safeco Field. The Rangers acquired Sampson off waivers from the Mariners in 2016. He is 0-2 with a 3.94 ERA in three starts in September and was 8-4 with a 3.77 ERA in 19 starts and 14 relief appearances for Triple-A Round Rock. Left-hander James Paxton (11-6, 3.85) is starting for the Mariners.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Texas Rangers