D-Braves' Perez retires 20 straight

Venezuelan right-hander unhittable after rocky first inning

Williams Perez earned his first win in over a month with his one-hit outing. (Scott Jontes)

By Danny Wild / MLB.com | August 8, 2012 6:37 PM ET

Some starters never recover from a rocky first inning, and some -- like Braves righty Williams Perez -- never let the opponents recover the rest of the night.

Perez settled down and retired 20 straight batters after a bumpy start, holding the Royals to a run on one hit and in Danville's 7-1 win over Burlington on Wednesday night.

A right-hander in his fourth Minor League season, Perez (3-1) dominated Royals' top prospect Bubba Starling and the Royals while striking out five for his third victory. He did not walk a batter and lowered his ERA to 3.32 in his seventh start since joining the rotation.

Humberto Arteaga doubled with out on in the first and scored after Starling reached on a throwing error by shortstop Jose Peraza. Pat Leonard then hit into a fielder's choice and Perez popped up Cameron Gallagher to end the frame.

It was Perez's first win in over a month, his last coming on July 7 when he struck out six over five innings to beat Princeton.

The 21-year-old signed as a free agent out of Venezuela in 2009. He went 4-0 with a 2.75 ERA in 13 outings last season between Danville in the Appalachian League and the Braves' other Rookie-level affiliate in the Gulf Coast League.

Perez was put in line for the win in the third when Carlos Franco, Trenton Moses, Edison Sanchez and Aris Alcantara delivered consecutive RBI hits in a five-run rally. Felix Marte added a two-run homer in the sixth to cap the scoring.

Perez had one of his best innings in the seventh, when he struck out Starling and Leonard before retiring Gallagher to end his evening. He faced 23 batters and induced 13 ground-ball outs and two flyouts.

Eduardo Castillo allowed a hit and fanned two in the eighth and Jeremy Fitzgerald closed out the win in the ninth.

The Perez gem snapped Starling's six-game hitting streak. Kansas City's No. 1 Draft pick last year has three homers in his last 10 games and is hitting .289 with 25 RBIs in 34 games.

Danny Wild is an editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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