Perez has been out with a broken toe since June 23. The 24-year-old Perez returned to Pittsburgh last Friday to work on his mechanics following three ineffective rehabilitation starts at Triple-A Indianapolis.
“I was trying to throw too hard, and that’s maybe why I was everywhere, so we made a trip to the bullpen today and I felt better,” Perez said Saturday. “The velocity was better.”
Perez, 6-5 during an injury-interrupted season, was one of the NL’s top young starters last year with a 12-10 record, a 2.98 ERA and 239 strikeouts in 196 innings.
Perez will try to help the Pirates win consecutive games for the first time since Aug. 18-19.
Humberto Cota singled home the winning run in the 12th, and the Pirates overcame Tony Clark’s two homers and five RBIs to end a 10-game home losing streak with an 8-7 victory over Arizona on Thursday.
The win was Pittsburgh’s first in three games under interim manager Pete Mackanin, who took over for the fired Lloyd McClendon on Tuesday. It also ended the Pirates’ six-game overall losing streak.
“Hopefully, this relaxes everyone and we can start playing better ball,” Mackanin said.
The Reds have lost seven of their last nine, with both wins coming in extra innings.
Reds outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. missed all three games against the Brewers with a strained right foot.
Griffey has been listed as day-to-day since Sunday, when he rolled his foot against Atlanta. He is hitting .301 with 35 home runs and 92 RBI in 128 games, the most since he played in 145 games in 2000, his first season with the Reds.