DALLAS - Do you remember who was on the mound for the Rangers the day Adrian Beltre collected his 3,000th hit against the Baltimore Orioles? It's perhaps difficult to picture because the little details fall away as Beltre's moment takes the forefront in our memories. Plus so much has happened since then that it feels like it was forever ago already.
If you guessed Martin Perez was the starter that day, well good job. You're right. You get a gold star!
If you didn't remembered that it was Martin Perez who made the start that day, that's okay. It was a pretty forgettable outing for Perez and the final score didn't really matter. However, if you must know, Perez was really bad and Texas lost 10-6 that day.
While Beltre was teetering on the brink between 2,999 and 3,000 for his career, Perez was allowing eight runs on nine hits in his 4 1/3 innings pitched for one of the worst outings of his career.
Here, five days later in Minnesota, Perez was hoping to bounce back and hand Texas a third straight win and perhaps grant them a little bit of hope in the American League's ever-shifting Wild Card race.
It went...well, not great.
Perez had a favorable matchup facing ageless twitter humor favorite Bartolo Colon -- working with his seventh team in 20 years -- and a 5.87 ERA in three starts with Minnesota. Texas even gave Perez a cushion by scoring twice just four hitters into the contest via a two-run RBI single off the bat of Beltre.
However, in the bottom of the inning, all nine Twins came up to bat and five hits, two walks, two home runs and 40 pitches later, the Rangers trailed 4-2. It seemed like a minor miracle at the time that the Rangers only trailed 4-2 but with Minnesota No. 9 hitter Jorge Polanco up with just one out, Perez induced one of his patented inning salvaging double plays to wiggle out of worse trouble.
After allowing two runs in the first inning, Bartolo Colon settled in and gave up just two addition runs to a lackluster Rangers offense in a complete game win. Despite coming into the game with an ERA over 7 for the season between his time in Atlanta and Minnesota combined, Colon was able to shut down the Rangers needing just 106 pitches to get through nine innings.
Elvis Andrus was the offense star for Texas as he proved to be Colon proof while going 3-for-4 with three doubles.
Meanwhile, Brian Dozier and the Twins were threatening to pour it on. Dozier lead off the first and second inning with home runs, his second blast made it 5-2 Twins. It was Dozier's second leadoff home run in as many innings as Perez had allowed five runs before collecting a fourth out of the night.
It wasn't a total washout for Perez as he staved off getting yanked in the first inning and eventually settled in and retired nine straight Twins hitters before hitting Joe Mauer with a pitch in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs in that inning, and Texas trailing only 5-3, Perez was perhaps a pitch away from getting through five innings and giving Texas a chance to battle back but Eddie Rosario singled in two runs and that was it for Perez.
Perez finished his night with a line of 4 2/3 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 2 BB, 2 Ks and his tenth loss of the season. Perez's current 5.46 ERA is now third worst in baseball among qualifying starters just behind Baltimore's Wade Miley -- otherwise known as the guy who gave up Adrian Beltre's 3,000th hit.
With the loss, Texas is now 52-57 on the year and 4 1/2 games back in the American League Wild Card standings while the Twins move to 52-55 and a game and a half ahead of Chicago for third place in the American League Central.
The Rangers and Twins will play again Saturday night with Cole Hamels on the mound for Texas and RHP Kyle Gibson set to make the start for Minnesota. First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 pm CT.
- Adrian Beltre's two-run RBI single in the top of the first inning gave him 18 RBIs in his career off Bartolo Colon. Only Alex Rodriguez (20 RBIs) had more runs batted in against Colon in his career.
- Colon became the oldest American League pitcher to throw a complete game since Texas Legend Noland Ryan went the distance for the Rangers in 1992.
- Twins third baseman Miguel Sano was hit on the hand by a Tony Barnette pitch in the bottom of the sixth inning and left the game. He was replaced by Zack Granite.
- Former Rangers starter Yu Darvish made his debut with Los Angeles and went seven innings while allowing three hits, zero runs, and just one walk. Darvish struck out ten New York Mets hitters and the Dodgers won 6-0.
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