Rangers' rotation hit by injuries, but lefty has been stabilizing force
By Ryan Posner
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have hit hard times when it comes to the health of their rotation, but left-hander Martin Perez has been a constant.
He came through once again Sunday afternoon in his team-leading 16th start, allowing one run over six innings to pick up his sixth straight win in a 6-2 victory over the Red Sox at Globe Life Park. Perez matched his career-high winning streak set back in 2013, and has won six of his past seven outings.
"It's huge to have those guys that have been there and continue to pitch, he's one of them," manager Jeff Banister said. "Seems like every time he goes out we have great confidence. Early on we didn't get him a lot of run support, now we seem to be getting him some run support so he can pitch from in front. He seems to be a solid stabilizer, along with Cole [Hamels]."
Just this week, the Rangers placed Derek Holland and Colby Lewis on the 15-day disabled list. They were already without Yu Darvish, who was placed on the 15-day DL on June 13. Perez is the only pitcher in this year's rotation who hasn't missed a start.
"Amazing, man," Elvis Andrus said. "I think that he's one of the guys that has been there since the beginning, and he's proving that whenever he's got his stuff going on that day, he can shut down any offense. So, really glad the way he's been pitching -- nothing new. We know how talented he is, and every start he feels [more] comfortable."
Banister noted that Perez did not have his best stuff, as 54 of his 98 pitches were balls. He's been impressed with the left-hander's ability to battle with whatever stuff he has in a given start.
"It's a process, but I'm trying to stay with the process and stay with what I want to do pitch-by-pitch and hitter-by-hitter," Perez said.
Perez has been nearly unhittable at home, with six of his seven wins coming there, and he has a 2.48 ERA in nine home starts. Sunday's outing was his first quality start since June 5, but he's tied with Hamels for the team lead at 11.
"It's great to have a guy like that that can come out there and give you a chance to win every time," catcher Bryan Holaday said. "I think everybody on our staff has been doing that for the most part. That consistency is great to have."
The only blemish on Perez's line was a solo homer by Bryce Brentz in the sixth. Besides the homer, Perez scattered just four singles and two walks.
Prince Fielder quickly answered with a two-run shot to help Perez's winning streak stay intact.
"The injuries haven't slowed us down," Fielder said. "Obviously those guys are key, but other guys are stepping up. That's really big, but with good teams I think that happens anyways."
Ryan Posner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arlington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.