Cuban left-hander Cionel Perez has had a rocky start to his professional baseball career, but on Monday he looked like everything the Houston Astros hoped for when they signed the then-20-year-old for $2 million last winter.
After starting the season in extended spring training, Perez made his first pro start for the Quad Cities River Bandits on April 27. Only one of his four starts (his second one) could be considered a good outing, and he started this week with a 9.64 ERA after giving up 15 earned runs in 14 innings pitched.
His fifth start was a different story. Perez handcuffed the Peoria Chiefs for seven innings Monday, keeping them hitless while striking out 10 and walking one before being removed because of his pitch count. His ERA dropped to 6.43 and he picked up his third win of the year.
Right-hander Kevin Hill pitched the last two innings for the River Bandits, allowing one run on two hits and a walk. He struck out three and was awarded his first save of the season.
Marcos Almonte and Chuckie Robinson each drove in two runs for the River Bandits. Almonte hit a two-run homer and Robinson hit a two-run double.
Juan Yepez, whom the St. Louis Cardinals acquired from the Atlanta Braves for Matt Adams on Saturday, went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in his Chiefs debut.
You can read more about Perez’s performance in this MiLB.com story, in which writer Tyler Maun interviewed Quad Cities pitching coach Drew French.