American League Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, July 6th (All times Eastern)
Minnesota Twins (35-47) at Texas Rangers (50-33), 8:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Minnesota - Francisco Liriano (2-7, 5.40) Texas - Martin Perez (1-0, 9.00)
(Sports Network) - All 21-year-old starter Martin Perez will be trying to do this evening is help Texas avoid its longest losing streak in over a year.
Not much pressure for a second career start.
The Rangers aim to snap a four-game slide on Friday in the first of three straight games against the Minnesota Twins.
Texas has been outscored 29-8 over its season high-tying losing streak. That includes a 19-2 loss in the opener of a three-game set with the White Sox on Tuesday and Chicago finished off the sweep with yesterday's 2-1 victory over the Rangers.
Matt Harrison allowed just two runs on eight hits and two walks over an eight- inning complete game, but still had a seven-decision win streak halted with his first loss since May 12.
"I was just trying to have as quick of innings as possible, except for that one, but I was able to get us back in the dugout pretty quick," said Harrison of pitching in the heat."
Adrian Beltre knocked in the lone run for the Rangers, who haven't lost five straight since June 11-16 of last year.
Perez will look to avoid matching that slide tonight after winning his first major league start versus Oakland on Saturday. He gave up two runs on six hits and a walk in 5 1/3 frames and was helped out by a five-run fifth inning. The left-hander became the fifth-youngest pitcher to ever win a start for the Rangers and the youngest since Ed Correa on June 27, 1987.
"He threw enough changeups to get them off his fastball," said Texas manager Ron Washington about Perez. "He spotted his fastball well down in the zone and he competed."
Perez's victory came just three days after he made his MLB debut in relief against the Tigers and was touched for four runs while only recording two outs.
The Twins counter with Francisco Liriano, who struggled in a no-decision against the Royals on Sunday. The lefty lasted 5 1/3 innings and yielded five runs -- four earned -- on five hits and four walks while striking out six.
Liriano sits at 2-7 with a 5.40 earned run average in 18 games (13 starts) this season, but is 2-2 with a 2.95 ERA in seven games since returning to the rotation. The 28-year-old is 0-5 on the road in 2012.
Liriano is 3-1 with a save and 3.44 ERA in seven career meetings with the Rangers, including five starts.
The Twins have lost two straight following a five-game win streak and were dealt a 7-3 loss by the Tigers on Thursday. Minnesota starter Scott Diamond didn't give up a hit until the fourth and exited with a one-run lead after seven innings, but Alex Burnett, Tyler Robertson and Anthony Swarzak all gave up runs in relief.
"It got away from us," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "Diamond did a heck of a job."
Texas swept a three-game series in Minnesota from April 13-15 and split four meetings at home with the Twins last season.
07/06 10:45:54 ET