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Perez outpitches Grimm in first test vs. Rockies

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rangers starter Martin Perez outpitched Justin Grimm in an early faceoff for the fifth-starter slot.

Perez struck out two during two perfect innings, while Grimm gave up Charlie Blackmon's leadoff double and three more hits, including one to Troy Tulowitzki, in the Rockies' three-run third inning of their 9-1 win over the Rangers on Monday afternoon at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Grimm walked one in a scoreless fourth.

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"I thought I threw the ball well," Perez said. "The first couple of pitches, I was overthrowing, but I caught myself and made a quick adjustment."

Tulowitzki was tested a little more in his second Cactus League appearance than his first. He passed.

Tulowitzki, who missed much of last season with a left groin injury that required surgery, delivered a two-run single and handled a variety of defensive chances with ease and flair.

In Saturday's opener against the D-backs, Tulowitzki, who appeared in just 47 games last season, went 1-for-2 and didn't have a defensive chance. This time, he handled a popup and participated in a rundown in the first inning, and fielded two ground balls. On the second grounder, he had to charge and make a quick glove-to-throw transfer to retire speedy Craig Gentry. Tulowitzki left after his two-run single off Grimm in the bottom of the third.

Rockies center fielder Dexter Fowler added an RBI triple in the fifth against former Rockies farmhand Koty Woods. Eric Young Jr. singled, walked and scored twice. Additionally, Rockies starter Chris Volstad, trying to earn the fifth starter spot as a non-roster invitee, gave up two hits and forced two double plays in two scoreless innings.

Up next: Yu Darvish makes his first start of the spring when the Rangers host the White Sox at 2:05 p.m. CT in Surprise on Tuesday. This will be the first of back-to-back games for Texas against Chicago, and it is a chance for catcher A.J. Pierzynski to face his old team for the first time. Pierzynski played eight seasons for the White Sox before signing with the Rangers in the offseason.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb.

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