Perez makes another start against his former team when the Pittsburgh Pirates continue a four-game series with the San Diego Padres.
San Diego dealt Perez to Pittsburgh on August 26, 2003 along with outfielder Jason Bay in exchange for Brian Giles and pitcher Corey Stewart. Bay earned National League Rookie of the Year honors last season after batting .282 with 26 homers and 82 RBIs.
Perez’s first full season with Pittsburgh made the trade look lopsided, although Giles has been productive for San Diego. Perez went 12-10 with a 2.98 ERA with 239 strikeouts in 2004 despite poor run support.
He made a successful return to San Diego for his first career start at Petco Park on August 8, allowing two runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings for a 4-2 win in front of about 20 friends and family.
However, things did not go well for the 23-year-old left-hander in the Pirates’ opener Monday. Perez surrendered six runs and five hits in five-plus innings while throwing 92 pitches in a 9-2 loss to Milwaukee.
“He just ran out of gas,” Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said of his staff ace. “He threw too many pitches.”
At least Perez will not have to worry about getting Pittsburgh its first win after the Pirates held on for a 3-2 victory Friday. Josh Fogg and three relievers pitched a six-hitter and Craig Wilson had a two-run single.
Continuing its offensive problems at Petco Park from last season, San Diego is hitting just .214 in its first two home games.
The Padres received some bad news when they learned that outfielder Eric Young will be out for at least two months with a dislocated right shoulder suffered when he made a leaping catch of Bay’s line drive in the first inning Friday. Young was placed on the 60-day disabled list and infielder Jesse Garcia was recalled from Triple-A Portland.
“It’s horrible news,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “I feel for E.Y. That’s a blow to us. He’s going to be sorely missed—his play, his energy, his versatility. He could do a lot of things for you.”