ARLINGTON, Texas -- After being swept for the first time this year in their road series with the Chicago White Sox, the Texas Rangers are back home for their final three-game series before the All-Star break against the Minnesota Twins. The first game of the series features rookie LHP Martin Perez vs. LHP Francisco Liriano at 7:05 p.m. on 103.3/1540/TXA21. A quick look at the matchup:
Perez (1-0, 9.00): The 21-year-old will make his second career start and third appearance against the Twins on Friday. ... At 21 years and 87 days, he became the fifth-youngest Ranger ever to win a start when he earned a win against the Oakland A's last Saturday (5 1/3 IP, six hits, two earned runs, one walk and five strikeouts). ... Only David Clyde, Tommy Boggs, Len Barker and Ed Correa have had wins at a younger age for Texas. ... Perez is the fourth pitcher for Texas this season to win his first career major league start, joining Yu Darvish, Neftali Feliz and Justin Grimm. ... He went 5-5 with a 4.59 ERA through 84 1/3 innings pitched in 15 starts for the Triple-A Round Rock Express this year before he was recalled on June 26 when Colby Lewis went on the disabled list. ... He won his last two starts with Round Rock, holding opposing hitters to a .080 average (4-for-50).
Liriano (2-7, 5.40): The 28-year-old leads the Twins in strikeouts this season with 76 and innings pitched with 76 2/3. ... He was an All-Star in 2006, the AL's Comeback Player of the Year in 2010 and pitched a no-hitter against the White Sox on May 3, 2011. ... He started the season on a five-game losing streak, but has gone 2-2 in his last seven starts. ... He has greatly improved each month this season, posting a 2.87 ERA through 31 1/3 innings in five starts in June compared to a 4.56 ERA in May and a 11.02 ERA in April. ... He is 3-1 with a 3.44 ERA in seven career games against the Rangers. ... He won his last start against Texas in June 2011, pitching eight innings and allowing two hits, one earned run, no walks and nine strikeouts.
Hitters: Perez has never faced a Twins hitter. ... Current Rangers are batting .220 (20-for-91) against Liriano. ... Adrian Beltre is batting .280 (7-for-25) with two doubles, a home run, three walks and three strikeouts. ... Josh Hamilton is 2-for-10 with a walk and four strikeouts. ... Ian Kinsler is also 2-for-10 with a double, a home run, a walk and three strikeouts. ... Michael Young is 3-for-13 with two walks and three strikeouts. ... David Murphy is 4-for-9 (.444) with three RBIs and a walk. ... Elvis Andrus is 0-for-9 with a strikeout.
Sat. vs. Twins: LHP Derek Holland vs. RHP Cole De Vries (2-1, 3.43), 6:15 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FOX
Sun. vs. Twins: RHP Roy Oswalt vs. RHP Nick Blackburn (4-5, 8.10), 6:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/ FSSW