The highly-touted left-hander will try to help the Rangers post a fifth straight victory Saturday night when they continue their four-game home set against the Athletics.
Oakland (37-41) fell to 10-15 against left-handed starters after Friday's 4-3 defeat. The Athletics blew a two-run lead after scoring twice in eight innings against the Rangers' Matt Harrison , who earned his 11th victory to tie Tampa Bay's David Price for the AL lead.
Washington is choosing to start Perez (0-0, 13.50 ERA) over right-hander Justin Grimm because of Oakland's woes against southpaws. Rated one of Texas' top five prospects by Baseball America each of the last four years, the Venezuela native was recalled Tuesday from Triple-A Round Rock.
"I feel great. They are giving me this opportunity and I want to do the job," the 21-year-old Perez told the Rangers' official website. "I want to do the same thing I did in spring training: throw the ball over the plate and see what happens."
Perez had a rough major league debut in relief Wednesday, allowing four runs and retiring only two batters in a 13-9 victory over Detroit. He went 5-5 with a 4.59 ERA in 15 starts with Round Rock.
"It will be start to start," Washington said. "He's not going to be etched in stone."
Texas (49-29), meanwhile, is 15-9 against left-handed starters. The Rangers will get their second look at Oakland rookie left-hander Tommy Milone (8-5, 3.83), who enters with a 14-inning scoreless streak.
Milone became the first rookie pitcher in Oakland Athletics history to win eight games before the All-Star break Monday as he scattered seven hits over seven innings in his second straight victory, 1-0 at Seattle.
"I have expectations for myself, obviously, that is to win games," Milone said. "That's why I'm here."
Texas has rallied to post consecutive one-run victories to start this series, coming back from an early three-run deficit in Thursday's 7-6 victory.
Friday's win was more dramatic as Gentry's bases-loaded triple in the eighth capped a four-run rally that erased a 2-0 deficit. The hit was aided by Oakland left fielder Yoenis Cespedes , who appeared to misjudge Gentry's deep fly ball.
The Rangers managed two hits through seven innings before their winning rally."We weren't hitting the ball that hard early," Washington said. "But we kept grinding and kept grinding. That's why you play nine innings."
The Athletics, last in the majors with a .225 batting average and last in the AL with a .365 slugging percentage, have dropped 10 of 12 in Arlington.
|June 23, 2012||Collin Cowgill||15-Day DL||Sprained left ankle|
|June 20, 2012||Brandon McCarthy||15-Day DL||Strained right shoulder|
|June 18, 2012||Bartolo Colon||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|June 17, 2012||Bartolo Colon||Day-to-Day||Strained right oblique|
|June 13, 2012||Yoenis Cespedes||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained left hamstring|
|June 06, 2012||Andrew Carignan||60-Day DL||Right elbow surgery - out for season|
|June 26, 2012||Mark Lowe||15-Day DL||Strained right intercostal muscle|
|June 24, 2012||Colby Lewis||15-Day DL||Right forearm tendinitis|
|June 24, 2012||Matt Harrison||Day-to-Day||Left game - left hip soreness|
|June 20, 2012||Mitch Moreland||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|June 16, 2012||Josh Hamilton||Day-to-Day||Intestinal virus|
|June 14, 2012||Koji Uehara||Day-to-Day||Strained right lat muscle|
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Josh Hamilton hasn't been fazed by his June woes at the plate.
The Texas Rangers slugger put those struggles behind him in the fifth inning, coming through with a powerful swing to help make 21-year-old Martin Perez a winner in his first career start. He hit a three-run home run to cap a big inning and the Rangers extended their winning streak to five games, beating the Oakland Athletics 7-2 on Saturday night.
"I'm doing absolutely nothing differently," said Hamilton, who finished with four RBIs. "It's just baseball. You go through spurts like that."
Hamilton came in hitting just .211 with 34 strikeouts in 90 June at-bats. However, he finished the month with a flurry.
On a 1-0 pitch from Tommy Milone in the fifth, his three-run shot into the visiting bullpen in left-center, gave the Rangers a 6-2 lead. It was his 25th of the season, equaling his total from last season.
Texas (50-29) became the first team in baseball to reach 50 victories. The Rangers have won 17 of 21 since June 8.
Texas extended its American League West lead to 6 1/2 games over the Los Angeles Angels .
"Just trying to continue to play good baseball, and we are," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "It takes everybody to continue it."
Perez (1-0) allowed two runs and struck out five in 5 1/3 innings. The left-hander gave up six hits and walked one. Perez left the game to a warm ovation from the sellout crowd. Washington greeted his young lefty with a hug in the dugout.
The Rangers decided to start Perez despite a rough major league debut in relief Wednesday. He allowed four runs and retired only two batters in a 13-9 victory over Detroit. He went 5-5 with a 4.59 ERA in 15 starts this season with Triple-A Round Rock.
"When I went to the mound at first, I felt a little tension." Martin said through a translator. "I was able to control everything and I did my job."
Oakland committed two errors in the fifth that led to five unearned runs, including a miscue from shortstop Brandon Hicks right before Hamilton came up to bat.
Milone (8-6) gave up six runs - only one earned - in five innings.
Other than Adrian Beltre 's solo homer in the fourth, the Rangers had a hard time against Milone before Oakland's defense unraveled in the fifth.
"You can't do that here," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "With that lineup and in this park, you can't give them freebies."
Nelson Cruz reached on Brandon Inge 's error at third and Mike Napoli singled. Milone recorded consecutive outs without letting a run score.
Ian Kinsler lifted a bloop single just over Inge's head to bring in two runs and push Texas ahead 3-2. Hicks then booted Elvis Andrus ' grounder to set the stage for Hamilton.
Hamilton became the fastest Rangers player to reach 25 homers, accomplishing the feat in 79 team games. The slugger added an RBI single in the seventh.
"We've always had at least one big inning in a game," Hamilton said. "That's kind of been our deal."
Chris Carter homered in his second straight game since being recalled from Triple-A, and Inge had an RBI single that gave the A's a 2-1 lead in the fourth.
Notes: Washington has made his manager's selections for the AL All-Star team. "It's done," he said. "It wasn't as stressful this time around. Overall, it was smooth." The All-Star teams for both leagues will be announced Sunday. ... Oakland manager Bob Melvin said Bartolo Colon may start Tuesday after the right-hander threw a bullpen session Saturday. Colon (strained right oblique) has been on the DL since June 18. ... Texas RHP Yu Darvish (10-4) takes the mound looking for his 11th victory Sunday. He will be opposed by Oakland LHP Travis Blackley (1-2). ... Texas' Yoshinori Tateyama and Michael Kirkman combined for 3 2/3 shutout innings out of the bullpen.