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JetHawks' Perez cruises past Ports

Astros prospect pitches six strong innings in season debut
May 6, 2012
Before Sunday, Tyson Perez had never pitched above the Rookie-level Appalachian League. But you wouldn't have known by the way he stymied the Stockton Ports.

The Astros prospect allowed one run on two hits over six innings in his season debut as the Class A Advanced Lancaster JetHawks posted a 6-2 victory over Stockton.

Perez (1-0) struck out four and did not walk a batter. Selected in the 17th round of last year's Draft out of Fresno City College, he was making his first competitive start since taking the mound for Rookie-level Greeneville on Aug. 29. He spent the first month of the season at extended spring training.

"The first couple innings, I was pretty amped up, trying to throw a little too fast," Perez said. "But then I settled down and got it done."

Perez didn't find out until Friday morning that he'd be leaving the Astros' complex in Florida and said he was caught unaware when coaches told him he'd be skipping Class A Lexington and joining the JetHawks.

"It was a surprise, I didn't know where I would go," the 22-year-old right-hander said. "We were on the field in Florida and they came up to me and told me they were sending me to California, so that felt great."

The California native said he'd been focusing on being consistent with his mechanics during his month at extended spring training. He said it helped him refine his curveball and cutter, which were keys to his success at Stockton.

Last summer, Perez was 2-5 with a 5.07 ERA in 13 starts with Greeneville. Over 55 innings, he struck out 49 batters and walked only 13.

Perez said he'd been itching to pitch in a competitive environment after the long layoff.

"I was excited, I hadn't thrown in a meaningful game since last year, so I was pretty pumped up about it," he added. "I was pleased with my outing, obviously, and hopefully I can just keep it going, get the confidence up. This was a real good confidence-booster, so I'm hoping I can just continue this in my next starts."

Ben Orloff collected three hits and three RBIs out of the leadoff spot for Lancaster, while Domingo Santana homered and Adam Bailey and Jonathan Meyer both scored twice.

After Gabriel Garcia gave up a run while retiring two batters in the seventh, Jose Trinidad and Kirk Clark combined on 2 1/3 perfect innings to complete the JetHawks' fourth straight win.

Jonathan Raymond is a contributor for