Brennan Smith (1-1) took over and turned in his best outing of the season, cruising through 5 2/3 scoreless innings and yielding just one hit to earn the victory. He retired 16 of the 18 batters he faced, allowing a double and a walk to consecutive hitters in the fourth inning before setting down the next 14 men in order.
Still, the deficit remained until the seventh inning, when Perez gave the home team a much needed spark.
With the bases empty and two outs in the top of the seventh, the speedy B.J. Guinn dragged a well-placed bunt to the right side of the infield. First baseman James Robbins fielded the ball and turned to flip towards first as Perez raced over to cover the bag, but the throw was a bit behind the second baseman. Without skipping a beat, Perez reached back and snatched the flip with his bare hand while speeding across the base to retire Guinn.
As fate would have it, Perez led off the bottom of the seventh. The 20-year-old infielder from Venezuela smacked a hit up the middle and legged out a leadoff double, subsequently advancing to third and later scoring on a pair of wild pitches.