Perez’s best.

Martin Perez strikes out five Athletics in the best performance by a Ranger starter this season.

After 193 starts, Martin Perez had one of the better starts of his career.

The thirty-one-year-old lefty came into yesterday’s start 0-2 for the year, having posted a stratospheric ERA of 6.75. That, after three seasons of ERAs in the upper 4.00s and higher. In fact, in his ten big league seasons coming into 2022, Perez had had just one year with an ERA under 4.00, that was 2013.

Yes, he has throws some gems in that time. Far too few and too far apart. Back in 2014, he had a three-game stretch where he didn’t allow a single run, two of those were complete game shutouts. His next outing, the gave up eight earned runs, then five, then six.

That is the story of Marin Perez. A sliver of brilliance wrapped in layers of frustration.

So, yesterday’s gem was a surprise welcome on a number of fronts. 

One, it came out the blue with how his season was going.

Two, it was most innings any Rangers starter was allowed to go.

Three, Oakland managed to get just two hits off him in his six innings of work. He left the game in a scoreless tie. And, surprisingly, the bullpen didn’t cough that up.

Best of all, Perez’s gem gives Texas a bona fide winning streak of three game. That puts the Rangers just one game away from Houston, who comes into town tomorrow for four.

The season hasn’t gone the way the Rangers had hoped. And this team isn’t good enough to make a legitimate playoff run. But climbing out of last place, on the backs of the Astros, would be sweet.

Thanks to Perez’s gem, and a stifling start from Glenn Otto the day before, the Rangers are inching their way to fourth place.

Baby steps.