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Rangers hope to salvage finale of season series vs. Rockies

Aug 19, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez (54) throws to the Minnesota Twins in the first inning at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Martin Perez reached 10 years of major league service last week, so the veteran pitcher knows what it takes to last in the big leagues.

He hasn’t quite figured out the Colorado Rockies, but he gets another chance when the Texas Rangers wrap up a two-game series in Denver on Wednesday.

Perez (9-4, 2.80 ERA) will face Colorado’s Jose Urena (2-4, 4.71) in the fourth and final game between the teams this season. The Rockies are 3-0 against the Rangers heading into the finale.

Colorado ended Texas’ three-game overall winning streak with a 7-6 decision on Tuesday.

Perez has faced Colorado four times in his career and is 0-2 with a 5.23 ERA. He took a loss when the Rockies visited the Rangers in April, allowing three runs on seven hits in four-plus innings during his season debut.

It was his first time facing them since 2015. Perez is 0-1 with a 6.55 ERA in two career road outings against Colorado, but the veteran righty isn’t sweating another start in Denver.

“It’s nothing new for us, just trying to not leave the ball where we don’t want it, but it’s the same baseball, same game,” he said. “It’s just the altitude, but it doesn’t matter.”

Texas hitters took a liking to Denver on Tuesday night. Marcus Semien hit his 20th home run, Nathaniel Lowe set a career high with his 19th — both of which came in the first inning — and Adolis Garcia went 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 20 games.

Interim manager Tony Beasley told his hitters to keep the same approach at the plate despite the reputation of Coors Field.

“Just make solid contact and the ball will go if you get it in the air,” he advised them.

That’s what Urena will have to battle when he takes the mound Wednesday in his 10th start for Colorado. Urena was added to the roster in early July and has had some rough patches but pitched well against the San Francisco Giants on Friday.

He tied a season high by going 6 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on three hits to earn he win. Urena is 1-0 with a 9.31 ERA in two career starts against the Rangers.

The Rockies are trying to wrap up a successful homestand. They took two of three from San Francisco over the weekend and now have a chance to sweep Texas — not only in this series but all four games this season.

It helps having C.J. Cron back in the lineup. The team’s lone All-Star, Cron was rested Saturday and Sunday, and combined with Monday’s off day, received a lengthy break.

The move appeared to be successful when he hit the go-ahead, three-run homer in the seventh inning on Tuesday, a blast that stood up as the winner.

“I didn’t touch a bat for three days. Sometimes you need just to kind of reset, mentally and physically,” said Cron, who crushed his 24th homer. “I knew it would benefit me. Hopefully this is a nice little reset and we can keep going.”

–Field Level Media