ROUND ROCK, Texas -- Before he was called up for his first stint as a big league pitcher, Martin Perez was 2-0 with a 1.18 ERA in his last two starts with Triple-A Round Rock. He's looking to pick up where he left off now that he's back with the Express.
"Two months ago, my mind was a little crazy. I was a little bit frustrated," said Perez, who was sent down on Wednesday when Colby Lewis was activated off the disabled list. "I don't want to stay here for long. We have about 30 games left. I want to get back there as fast as I can."
After going 1-1 with a 5.54 ERA in four appearances with the Rangers, including two starts, Perez pitched in his first game for Round Rock since being called up June 26. He gave up one run on three hits in two innings out of the bullpen in Friday's loss to Omaha. When he resumes his role as a starter, he'll join a rotation that includes Justin Grimm, who also made his Major League debut this year, after spending most of the season with Double-A Frisco.
"When Grimm got called up, everybody asked me, 'Are you mad because Grimm got called up?' I said, 'No, he's my friend,'" Perez said. "Next year, we're going to have a better shot than this year. Grimm's a good guy, and he throws really good. I talk to him every day and say, 'Hey, you're throwing good. Keep doing what you're doing.'"
After allowing four runs over two-third innings in his big league debut, Perez won his first Major League start by holding the A's to two runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings during a 7-2 victory June 30. He lost his next start to the Twins and tossed a scoreless inning of relief against the Mariners on July 14 before being optioned to Round Rock Wednesday.
"I learned a lot," Perez said. "[Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux] said pitching outside is your money, outside and down. That's what I do every time on the first pitch, outside and down. When I have runners on base with one out, I throw my sinker down and outside. That's what I learned."