Left-hander Martin Perez puts his six-game winning streak on the line when the Rangers open up a three-game series against the Twins on Friday night at Target Field. Veteran right-hander Ervin Santana pitches for the Twins.
Perez is 6-0 with a 3.40 ERA in his last seven starts, matching the longest winning streak of his career. He is 6-2 with a 3.10 ERA in his last 11 starts.
"Just keep going and continue to do my job," Perez said. "I don't want to stop. I just want to win and help the team."
This will be Perez's first start against the Twins in almost four years. The only other time Perez faced the Twins was on July 6, 2012, in Arlington when he allowed four runs in six innings in a 5-1 loss.
The Rangers are much more familiar with Santana. He has made 30 career starts against the Rangers, fifth most among active pitchers and tied for 17th all time. The former Angels hurler is 13-11 against Texas with a 5.67 ERA, which is the fifth highest among opponents with at least 25 starts vs. the Rangers.
Santana's last two starts have been against the Yankees. He allowed three runs in 7 1/3 innings in a 7-4 victory on June 19, snapping a five-game losing streak. In his last start, he allowed one run in five innings Saturday in a game the Twins ended up losing, 2-1. The Twins are scoring 3.71 runs per nine innings for Santana, the fourth-lowest run-support average in the American League.
What to watch for • Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre has five home runs in his career off Santana, tied for the second most against him by any opponent.
• Twins first baseman Byung Ho Park is hitting .197 at Target Field, the second-lowest home batting average in the AL. But he does have eight home runs in 117 at-bats there. He has been bothered by a sore right wrist and did not start on Thursday against the White Sox.
• Joe Mauer has a career batting average of .234 against the Rangers. That's his second lowest against any AL opponent. He has a .232 average against the Astros. He also did not start on Thursday.