Matchup: Martin Perez vs. Corey Kluber
Perez (3-3, 3.40): Perez, who has taken a firm grasp on the fifth spot in the rotation, makes his eighth start of the season in Friday's series opener against the Indians ... Perez has been hit in his last two starts, allowing nine runs in 12 innings ... But he showed that he's maturing in the second inning of a 4-2 loss to Baltimore on Sunday, limiting the Orioles to two runs despite shaky defense ... He was down 2-0 and still had the bases loaded with no outs and got three straight outs, including a strikeout of Orioles phenom Manny Machado on four change-ups ... Perez is 3-2 with a 3.18 ERA in six starts since being called back up from Triple-A Round Rock.
Kluber (7-5, 3.69): Hopefully the second time around will help the Rangers against Kluber ... He shut them down on June 11 in Arlington, allowing a run in eight innings as the Indians cruised to a 5-2 victory ... Kluber held the Rangers to six hits and needed only 104 pitches to get through eight ... Kluber has put together three scoreless outings out of his seven starts since then ... He had 7 1/3 scoreless innings in a 3-0 victory over Kansas City on July 12, and in his first start since the All-Star break on Saturday limited the Minnesota Twins to three hits in five shutout innings ... The Twins did get him up to 93 pitches in that start ... Kluber has four wins in his last five decisions.
Hitters: Perez has made one appearance against Cleveland, facing one batter and issuing a four-pitch walk to Shin-Soo Choo. A.J. Pierzynski is 2-for-7 with a home run against Kluber.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
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Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.