Jhoulys Chacin's second start with the Los Angeles Angels was nowhere near as impressive as his first. Martin Perez's season with the Texas Rangers would likely be going down as his best yet if he could get back to a level of control he'd grown accustomed to.
They face off Tuesday night in Texas with the Angels looking to take the first two of the three-game series.
Chacin (0-0, 4.76 ERA), who was acquired on May 11 from Atlanta, made his first start with his new team three days later. The right-hander gave up two runs and five hits in seven innings of a 9-7 win in Seattle. He then surrendered four runs and six hits in 4 1/3 innings of Thursday's 7-4 home win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"I got in trouble myself, but the bullpen backed me up today," Chacin told MLB's official website. "They rescued me today, and they did their job for us to win the game. That's the goal."
Perez (1-4, 3.48) is coming off his longest outing of the season, in part because he matched a season low for walks. The left-hander gave up four runs and eight hits in seven innings with two walks in Wednesday's 8-1 loss in Oakland for his second straight defeat.
Even so, his season ERA is lower than any of his previous single-season marks, and his 4.64 walks per nine innings is by far his highest. He had a 3.55 mark in 2012 as a rookie and he's at 3.19 for is career.
"The whole nemesis for him has been that one inning, and today it showed up in the first," manager Jeff Banister said. "Location of pitches, deep counts, obviously high pitch count, all in the first and going down three runs. After that, he pitched well, threw strikes and mixed his pitches."
One of his losses came against the Angels when that control was at its worst. Perez gave up three runs and seven hits with five walks in 6 1/3 innings of a 3-1 defeat in Anaheim on April 10, dropping him to 1-2 with a 2.65 ERA in five starts and one relief appearance against them in his career.
The Angels (21-24) won Monday's series opener 2-0, and the staff has been mostly impressive over a 4-2 span with a 2.83 ERA and .222 opponent batting average. The once-taxed bullpen has been rested some in the last three games with six innings of work.
Albert Pujols hit a two-run homer in the third and is batting .379 with seven RBIs in his last eight games to increase his average to .228 after entering that span at .197. Mike Trout was 2 for 4 and has also taken off with a .395 average over his last 11 games. Johnny Giavotella had two hits to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games.
The Rangers (25-20) saw a three-game losing streak come to an end, though they're a game away from a very impressive turn through the rotation. Over the 3-1 span, Texas has a 1.25 ERA with six walks and 38 strikeouts.
Ian Desmond was 2 for 4 and is hitting .351 in his last 13 games to boost his average to .276 after entering that stretch at .239.