Pérez 'a stabilizing force' in Rangers' rotation

Southpaw delivers 20th quality start this season by holding potent Blue Jays lineup in check

September 11th, 2022

ARLINGTON -- All season, Martín Pérez has put the Rangers in position to win each and every time he goes to the mound. He grinds through at-bats, gets through lineups efficiently and keeps the game within striking distance to give Texas’ offense time to work.

On Sunday afternoon, Pérez did so again, dealing his 20th quality start as the Rangers beat the Blue Jays, 4-1, at Globe Life Field to avoid a three-game sweep. The lefty allowed just one run on six hits and two walks while striking out seven in six innings.

Interim manager Tony Beasley didn’t hesitate to stress just how important Pérez is to this team as it gets through the final weeks of the season.

“He's been a stabilizing force for us all year,” Beasley said. “He and Jon Gray together were two guys that could stop the bleeding if we needed, but now Martín is solo in that role [with Gray on the IL]. It's tough to get the ball when the team needs you to produce and have a good outing pretty much every time out. That’s what we've been asking of him, and he's been delivering.”

After battling a powerful Toronto lineup, Pérez lowered his season ERA to 2.77, which would be the best of his career by far. He earned his team-high 11th win, just two off his career high set in 2017 with Texas. It’s the most wins by a Rangers pitcher since 2019 (16 by Lance Lynn and 14 by Mike Minor).

It was also Pérez’s 26th straight start with at least five innings pitched, the longest such streak of his career. It’s tied for the second longest by a Rangers lefty since Kenny Rogers threw 28 straight in 1995 and 2000 (Rogers pitched for three other teams in the intervening years).

“Facing this lineup today, it's a really right-handed-heavy lineup,” Beasley said. “So it matches up well against lefties. He had to execute pitches all day long, and he just continued to do that. He's a huge part of us having a chance to have success. I'm just happy. It's good to watch him every five days.”

Pérez, who often downplays his accomplishments and never takes the full credit, said he’s not looking at the numbers or thinking about carrying the team on his back. The only thing that’s on his mind is giving his team a chance to win.

“I’m just trying to give my best every time,” Pérez said. “I’ve been doing this all year, and I’ve been consistent. That’s the only choice that I have. I just go out there and pound the zone and throw my best game that day. It’s been really good. You throw a quality start, and you have a chance to win games. That’s what we’re looking for.”

Not to let the importance go unnoticed, Beasley further emphasized that the Rangers would be nowhere near where they are without his contributions.

“He’s huge,” Beasley said. “He means everything to us. It gives us a chance to win every time out. He competes, he battles into the sixth or the seventh or what have you. The things that he's capable of doing, it's not easy to go out there and just do that type of thing day in and day out, outing after outing, against tough lineups.”