If facing your idol is a difficult task, try tackling the same challenge twice in 12 days. Rangers left-hander Martin Perez will again meet fellow Venezuelan pitcher Felix Hernandez -- Perez's boyhood idol -- on Wednesday afternoon at Safeco Field.
Perez received the win in his first career meeting with King Felix and the Mariners on Aug. 17 at Rangers Ballpark. He allowed three runs in seven innings in one of his four victories this month, tied for the most in the American League. In his last start Friday, he defeated White Sox lefty Chris Sale, conceding four runs in seven innings.
"I just want to do the same things," Perez said Tuesday. "I don't want to say, 'Tomorrow, it's Felix.' I just want to be focused. I don't want to go too fast. I want to control the game, don't let the game control me. Attack the strike zone early, that is what I have been doing the last few games. We'll see what happens tomorrow, but I feel good."
Hernandez tied his shortest outing of the season in that matchup with Texas, pitching just five innings. He allowed five runs on five hits with four strikeouts and five walks. The Mariners' ace is 1-3 with a 4.88 ERA over his past four starts. He has the most losses by an opponent against the Rangers with a 12-19 record and 3.94 ERA in 38 career starts. Hernandez is 0-3 with a 5.55 ERA against Texas this season.
"He's going to battle and come after hitters," Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre said. "You know how good he is, but on our side we have given him a lot of trouble. It's not easy to beat him but we seem to find a way."
The Mariners' offense will attempt to pick up where it left off before manager Eric Wedge left the team while recovering from a stroke. Seattle went 12-15 without Wedge, who returned to the club Friday. The offense averaged just under four runs a game during that stretch. The struggles have continued in Wedge's return, as Seattle has averaged 1.6 runs in his first five games back.
"They've been out of that since I've been back here, but watching them on TV I could just tell how they were grinding through, fighting through and creating opportunities," Wedge said. "They've been a little bit off the last couple days, but it's the same group of guys. It's in them, they can get it back."
Mariners: Hultzen headlines Fall League contingent
• Left-hander Danny Hultzen, the No. 25 overall prospect in MLB.com's rankings, will be among the seven Mariners prospects to participate in the Arizona Fall League. Dominic Leone, Brandon Maurer and Carson Smith are the other three pitchers who will play for the Peoria Javelinas. They will be joined by outfielder Stefan Romero and infielders Patrick Kivlehan and Chris Taylor.
Rangers: Alfaro among prospects headed to Fall League
• The Rangers will send Jorge Alfaro, the No. 1-ranked prospect in their system according to MLB.com, as one of their seven representatives to the Arizona Fall League. He will be joined by pitchers Matt West, Will Lamb, Nick McBride and Randy Harvey and infielders Ryan Rua and Brett Nicholas.
• Beltre is 9-for-27 with a home run, two RBIs and seven strikeouts against Hernandez, his former Seattle teammate.
• The Mariners' Kyle Seager has 16 extra-base hits against the Rangers this season. It's the second-most in a single season by a Texas opponent. Troy Glaus had 20 extra-base hits with the Angels in 2001.
• The Rangers are 43-16 against the American League West. It's the most wins and highest winning percentage (.724) for any team within its own division.
Master Tesfatsion is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.