Mariners-Rangers Preview (Jun 17, 2017) | FOX Sports ARLINGTON, Texas — For Yovani Gallardo, home is where the heat is.
Clear, sunny skies and a heat advisory await the Seattle Mariners right-hander, who will take on his former team, the Texas Rangers, in Game 2 of a three-game series on Saturday.
The temperature is forecast for 97 degrees, but with a heat index of 105 the Right Guard will get a workout.
No sweat, said the right-hander, who grew up in nearby Fort Worth.
“I don’t mind it,” said Gallardo, 31. “You have to get it used to it, but growing up in weather you’re accustomed, you have no problem getting loose, that’s for sure.
“A couple years ago playing here year-round, I got the chance to experience, prepare for it. Obviously, stay well hydrated.”
Gallardo, who pitched in Texas in 2015, enters 3-6 with a 6.11 ERA. In his last three starts, Gallardo is 1-1 with a 7.31 ERA with six walks and 13 strikeouts. In his last start, on June 12, Gallardo earned the victory, yielding three runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out five in seven innings at Minnesota.
Gallardo is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in three career starts against Texas
He’ll face Texas lefty Martin Perez, who is 2-6 with a 4.56 ERA and working on five days’ rest. He took a no-decision in his last outing at Washington, giving up two runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out five.
Perez has battled consistency all season and has had trouble avoiding the big inning in which he throws a lot of pitches.
“He needs to get outs quicker,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister joked about how he can avoid the long inning.
“I still believe there is … I think it’s the thought process he speeds up on at times. He needs to find a way to slow that down and make pitches the way he does other innings.”
The problem has been execution, location, and sharpness … a combination of everything, Banister said.
Perez is 5-3 with a 3.05 ERA in 14 appearances (12 starts) against the Mariners. Since the start of last season, he is 3-1 with a 2.57 ERA in six starts against Seattle.
For Texas, the game represents the second of a key season-long 20-game stretch. After the Mariners, Toronto comes to town for four games before a road trip with series against the New York Yankees, Cleveland and the Chicago White Sox. The Boston Red Sox arrive in Texas for Games 18-20 before the All-Star break.
The next few weeks will likely decide if Texas is a playoff contender or a seller at the trade deadline and the Rangers got off to a good start when Carlos Gomez and Robinson Chirinos homered in a 10-4 win on Friday.
“I feel good, man,” Perez said. “Go out there and use all my pitches like how I did last time. Attack, used my pitches. I don’t care if I win or I lose. I just want to give a chance to my team to win the game.”
Both teams will get their fill of the Texas heat with another day game to follow on Sunday.
All the more reason for Gallardo to feel right at home.
“It’s always nice to come home and have the opportunity to pitch in front of a bunch of family and friends,” Gallardo said. “The year before, when I played here, it was fun. I always look forward to it.”
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