A Memorial Day doubleheader in the desert gives a couple of promising young arms the chance to make their first big league starts of the year.
Texas' Martin Perez and Arizona's Tyler Skaggs will each be called up from the Minors to start the first game of the twin bill on Monday at Chase Field. Arizona is 7-4 in its last 11 games and 4-1 in its last five home contests. The Rangers have won eight of 12.
Perez, being called up from Triple-A Round Rock, was an early favorite to win a spot in the rotation in Spring Training. But he missed the first month of the season because of a broken left arm sustained during Cactus League play, and fill-ins Justin Grimm and Nick Tepesch have pitched well.
Perez was 1-2 with a 6.05 ERA in four starts in the Minors, but pitched seven scoreless for Round Rock on Tuesday against Reno. He scattered three hits and seven strikeouts without walking a batter.
"He just needs to keep us in the ballgame," manager Ron Washington said. "Nothing special, just keep us in the ballgame. If he gives us something special, great. But just give us a chance."
Skaggs was pegged by MLB.com as the D-backs' top prospect entering this season. He, too, fought for a spot in the club's rotation during Spring Training, but lost out to Patrick Corbin.
The first-round pick from the 2009 Draft went 1-3 with a 5.83 ERA in six starts last year for the D-backs, and has gone 4-5 with a 5.23 ERA in nine starts for Triple-A Reno this year.
"He's throwing the ball better," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "I can't tell you exactly what the deciding factor was for picking him, but we made the decision as an organization."
Rangers ace Yu Darvish will start Game 2 of the doubleheader, squaring off against Arizona's Trevor Cahill. The Rangers took two of three in the Interleague series last year, narrowly out-scoring the D-backs, 13-12.
"This is a team you look forward to because you might only face them once in a lifetime, especially if you're facing a good pitcher," Darvish said.
Rangers: Texas enjoying May daylight
• The Rangers are 4-1 in day games this month after losing six of their last seven day ballgames in April.
• Darvish will be making his first career start at Chase Field, bringing a 3-1 road record and 1.95 ERA with him. He's 2-1 with a 3.54 ERA in four starts this month, and has allowed a .192 batting average to opposing hitters in May.
Darvish is 1-for-3 as a hitter in his career.
D-backs: Batters taking advantage of baserunners
• The D-backs are 15-for-51 (.294) with six doubles and 20 RBIs with runners in scoring position in their last six games.
In their last four home games, they're 14-for-37 with five doubles and 17 RBIs.
• In 15 starts against the Rangers, Cahill is 9-4 with a 2.78 ERA.
The D-backs will honor fallen soldiers with a moment of silence prior to each game Monday. Throughout the day, memory master Ron White will write the names of each fallen American soldier from the War in Afghanistan on a 50-foot display wall, beginning at 10 a.m. on the right-field deck.
All in-game activities during the day game will include Arizona National Guard family members, and before the second game, the D-backs and local dealership Sanderson Ford will present a $50,000 check to Military Assistance Mission to provide financial aid and morale to Arizona active duty military, their families and wounded warriors.