Matchup: Martin Perez vs. Johnny Cueto

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers and Cincinnati open a three-game series Friday night with left-hander Martin Perez facing Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto at 7:05 p.m. on Ch. 21 and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM (1540 AM in Spanish).

Perez (1-1, 3.65): Perez came up from Triple-A Round Rock on Saturday and had a brilliant second start of the season, allowing two runs in seven innings in a 4-2 victory over St. Louis. Perez had the look of a big leaguer, manager Ron Washington said, blanking the Cardinals over the final five innings. He had a quality changeup and allowed five hits while collecting three strikeouts. ... He was the first American League pitcher to complete at least seven innings on 82 pitches or less this season. ... The 22-year old from Guanare, Venezuela, is now 2-5 with a 5.17 ERA in eight career big league starts. ... Perez will make his third straight start against a National League opponent after facing Arizona and St. Louis. ... Perez was vying for a spot in the Rangers' opening day rotation when he fractured a bone in his left forearm after being hit by a line drive in a spring training game. ... Perez was 5-0 with an 0.87 ERA in his final five starts for Triple-A Round Rock.

Cueto (4-1, 3.21): Cueto makes his first appearance against the Rangers. ... This is his third start since a second stint on the disabled list this season. He is 1-1 with a 6.97 ERA in his first two starts back. That includes allowing seven runs in 4 1/3 innings against Arizona last Friday. ... Cueto is 9-3 with a 2.61 ERA in 17 career starts against American League teams. ... He was on the 15-day disabled list from Aril 15 to May 19 with a strained right lat and he went back on the DL in June with a strained right shoulder. ... He was the Reds' opening day starter.

Hitters: Perez has never faced the Reds. Lance Berkman (8-for-29, 2 HRs, 7 RBIs) had success against Cueto during his time in the National League.