Newly-anointed fifth starter Martin Perez takes the mound for the Texas Rangers tonight in the opener of a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners and right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma. First pitch is scheduled for 9:10 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and TXA 21. A quick look at the matchup:
Perez (1-1, 3.38 ERA): The 21-year-old is the newest member of the rotation, taking over for the demoted Scott Feldman. ... In his last appearance Sept. 15, Perez tossed 4 1/3 innings of scoreless relief against the Mariners, walking one and striking out five. ... Has not made a start since July 24, when he surrendered one run in six innings against the Boston Red Sox. ... Has made three starts this season. ... Rangers have lost the last seven games in which he has appeared.
Iwakuma (6-5, 3.39 ERA): The 31-year-old rookie from Japan has a 2.84 ERA in 13 games since moving into the rotation. ... Has lost his previous two starts, including last week to the Rangers in Arlington. ... Has a 2.57 ERA at Safeco Field (compared to 4.57 on the road). ... Has allowed nine earned runs and 19 hits in 13 1/3 innings (6.08 ERA) against Texas.
Hitters: The Rangers are hitting .327 off Iwakuma. ... Ian Kinsler is 4-for-6 with two home runs and a double against Iwakuma. ... Josh Hamilton (2-for-6) also has a home run off Iwakuma, while Adrian Beltre is 3-for-8 with two RBIs. ... The Mariners have not recorded a hit against Perez. Brendan Ryan and Justin Smoak have each walked against Perez, but Seattle is a collective 0-for-14 with five strikeouts off the rookie left-hander.