ARLINGTON, Texas -- Martin Perez wanted to finish the job.
But a complete game is a diminishing statistic in modern-day baseball and the 23-year-old left-hander wanted it.
With three more outs to get, Perez had to sell manager Ron Washington on the idea. The pitcher said it wasn’t that hard.
"I told him, 'I’m good,'" Perez recalled. "He told me not to throw too many pitches and to keep the ball down. That’s what I did. It was important to me to finish."
Perez (3-0) completed a three-hit shutout by retiring the White Sox in order on a fly ball, a groundout and a strikeout in the ninth. He cut down the final 12 he faced following a leadoff walk in the sixth, and he didn’t allow a hit after Alexei Ramirez’s single leading off the fifth.
Working quickly and rarely behind in the count, Perez walked only one and struck out eight. He needed only 109 pitches, 70 of which were strikes. His performance came on the heels of a strong eight-inning shutout effort in a 1-0 win over the Houston Astros on Sunday. Perez’s ERA is down to a tidy 1.86.
"He was in control of all his pitches," Rangers designated hitter Alex Rios said. "He could throw any pitch in any count. That makes it hard on hitters."
Said Washington: "He’s doing everything he needs to do. He was attacking and keeping the ball on the ground."
As a result, Perez got 11 outs on ground balls.
The manager came away impressed by the way Perez didn’t let a big lead change his pitching pattern. Just when Washington thought his pitcher might be on the verge of losing concentration, Perez "got back into the mode he was in when the game started."
Said Perez: "I felt comfortable warming up tonight. I could throw the ball where I wanted. And our offense did a great job scoring all those runs."