When the Rangers and Cardinals locked horns in the 2011 World Series, Martin Perez and Shelby Miller were nowhere to be found.
Perez split the '11 campaign between Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock. Miller spent the season with Class A Palm Beach and Double-A Springfield.
On Saturday, the two will duel in the second contest of a three-game set between the competitors of that year's Fall Classic.
Injuries to Alexi Ogando and Matt Harrison paved the way for Perez to join the starting rotation. He hopes to stay there.
"I want to stay here as long as I can," Perez said. "I'm not thinking maybe this is it. I want to be here."
Perez has made one start for Texas this season. On May 27, he allowed four runs (three earned) on nine hits over 5 1/3 innings of a 5-3 loss to Arizona.
"I don't want to put too much pressure on myself," Perez said. "I just want to do the same job I did down there. If I throw the ball the way I want, I should have a good chance."
Perez will face a team that thrives during Interleague Play. The Cardinals are 127-112 all-time, the top winning percentage among all National League teams. This season, St. Louis is 3-2 against the American League.
Those numbers don't mean a whole lot to St. Louis skipper Mike Matheny, who cares much more about his club's performance against its own league.
"I like the competition in our league," Matheny said. "That's what really dictates whether or not we get to continue playing at the end of the season. ... But it really doesn't matter what I think, what the players think, it matters what the fan base thinks. And the league office decides, and they decided this is good for the game of baseball, so we go out to play to win."
Rangers: Soria starts rehab assignment
Right-hander Joakim Soria tossed a scoreless inning for Double-A Frisco on Thursday. It was his first professional appearance since Sept. 11, 2011. Soria missed the entire 2012 season because of Tommy John surgery. The two-time All-Star racked up 160 saves with the Royals from 2007-11.
Cardinals: Miller continues strong campaign
Miller, who will face the Rangers for the first time, is looking for his ninth win of the season. He has earned a victory in three of his last four outings. On Monday, he blanked the Cubs over five innings, limiting Chicago to two hits and two walks. He departed early because of cramping in his right leg.
"I know I wasn't taking care of myself fluid-wise, drinking enough electrolytes," Miller said. "It's something I need to start staying on top of and making it part of my routine."
• Texas traded pitcher Yoshinori Tateyama to the Yankees for future considerations.
• The Rangers passed on Miller in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft and instead selected another Texas high schooler, Matt Purke, who didn't sign with the team.