The Texas Rangers blasted the Chicago White Sox on Friday night on the strength of an offensive onslaught that gave them a 9-run lead after just three innings of play. However, lost in the barrage of a 12-0 final score, Rangers left-hander Martin Perez produced the best start of his young, promising career.
Perez, who is still only 23 years old, was once one of the top prospects in all of Major League Baseball, but in recent months, his star has lost a bit of luster. Still, he was utterly dominant in dispatching of the White Sox in this start. Perez tossed a complete game shutout while allowing only 3 hits and striking out 8, and his command was strong as well, issuing only 1 walk while throwing 70 of his 109 pitches for strikes.
Of course, some would argue that it is much easier to pitch with a massive cushion, and they certainly wouldn’t be wrong. From the time that Kevin Kouzmanoff drove in the game’s first run with an infield single in the first until he capped the scoring with an RBI single in the 7th, the Rangers’ bats were scorching. Center fielder Leonys Martin had the biggest night for Texas with a 3-for-5 showing that included a home run and 4 RBI, while unheralded catcher Robinson Chirinos (3-for-5, HR, 2 RBI) and Alex Rios (3-for-5, 3 runs, 2 RBI) produced big days at the office.
In the end, though, the biggest takeaway (even in a 12-run demolition) was the showing from Perez, and that is what Rangers fans can take solace in on this night. Pitching has been an issue for Texas for as long as anyone can remember, but in the still very young Perez, they have real hope for a potential home-grown ace, and that is a huge thing.