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Thursday, September 26, 2013
Buzz: Perez would get tiebreaker game

By Todd Wills

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers are in a position, with the American League wild card race so tightly bunched, that they could have to play a tiebreaker game against either Cleveland or Tampa Bay next week with the winner getting into the wild card game.

If they do find themselves in that situation, with a game on Monday, 22-year-old rookie Martin Perez will get that start.

"If we have to play this through and it's his turn on Monday, then yes," manager Ron Washington said on Wednesday. "It would be another challenging experience for him to get. He deserves it."

Perez won his 10th game of the season in Wednesday's 7-3 victory over Houston, passing Matt Harrison's nine wins in 2008 for the most ever by a Texas rookie. Perez is tied with Oakland's Dan Straily for the most wins by an American League rookie.

Baker improving: Jeff Baker has been taking ground balls the last three days and could be ready to test his sore groin at first base in the postseason, should the Rangers get there.

"I feel like I'm getting a little better and I'm able to run a little harder each day," Baker said.

Baker should get two starts at designated hitter this weekend with left-handers C.J. Wilson going for the Angels on Friday and Jason Vargas on Sunday.

Short hops: The Rangers have 47 come-from-behind victories after Wednesday night's win, the most in franchise history ... third baseman Adrian Beltre needs six hits in his final four games to reach 200 for the next four games ... center fielder Leonys Martin and infielder Jurickson Profar both said they expect to play winter ball for Licey in the Dominican League.