Perez ready to start if needed Monday

Perez ready to start if needed Monday

Perez ready to start if needed Monday

ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Martin Perez has been going through his regular routine this week in preparation for a possible start in a tiebreaker game on Monday. Perez last pitched on Wednesday, and it would be his turn to start unless the Rangers bring back Matt Garza on three days' rest.

But the Rangers believe Perez can handle it. He is 10-5 with a 3.55 ERA in 19 starts, and 7-2 with a 3.26 ERA in his last 10 starts.

"It would be a playoff game, so I'm excited, but I don't want to put any pressure on myself or get nervous," Perez said. "I just need to relax and take it as another game."

Perez was used exclusively as a starter this season but was in the bullpen on Sunday afternoon. So was Garza, who has made just three relief appearances as opposed to 191 starts in his big league career. Manager Ron Washington said it's "all hands on deck" for Sunday's game against the Angels.

If the Rays win, the Rangers have to win as well or be eliminated from playoff contention.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. Master Tesfatsion is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.