ARLINGTON -- A.J. Burnett left the Pirates for the Phillies because he said he wanted to be closer to home.
But Burnett, who lives outside Baltimore, also hopes the Phillies can recapture their winning ways in 2014. He tries to give them their second consecutive victory Tuesday in his Phillies debut against the Rangers at Globe Life Park. He faces Rangers left-hander Martin Perez.
Both hope to keep the ball down in the strike zone a little more than their predecessors. The teams combined for 24 runs on Opening Day.
If Burnett puts up the numbers he posted the past two seasons in Pittsburgh, the Phillies could have one of the more formidable trios in baseball with Burnett, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels, who hopes to rejoin the rotation before the end of April.
Perez was 0-2 with a 6.23 ERA in four Cactus League games for Texas.
"He's throwing the ball well," manager Ron Washington said. "He's keeping it down in the zone. There will be some nerves, but once he gets past that and the first inning, it will be baseball as usual."
The last time Perez took the mound in Arlington was in the 2013 American League Wild Card Game, and he was the pitcher of record in a 5-2 loss to the Rays. He is entering his first full season in the big leagues. He was 10-6 with a 3.62 ERA in 20 starts last season and was named the Rangers' Rookie of the Year.
"I'm excited," Perez said. "I just need to go out there and do my job, stay under control, make my pitches. I'm looking forward to it."
Phillies: Hamels back to work
Hamels joined the Phillies for Opening Day on Monday, but he plans to pitch in a Minor League game Tuesday at Carpenter Complex in Clearwater, Fla. It will be his second start of the spring since falling behind schedule because of inflammation in his left shoulder. Hamels figures he will need six starts before he is ready to rejoin the Phillies' rotation.
If he continues on his current schedule, he could rejoin the team in the final week of April.
"I feel normal now," Hamels said. "That's the best thing. I can go to sleep at night and have the understanding I'm not going to wake up sore as I would if something was wrong."
Rangers: Wilson gets start at second
Josh Wilson started at second base for the Rangers on Opening Day in place of Jurickson Profar, and J.P. Arencibia was behind the plate with Geovany Soto on the disabled list. Washington said Donnie Murphy will also get time at second base.
"We'll take it a day at a time and see where it goes," Washington said.
The Rangers started the season with three catchers, with Robinson Chirinos and Chris Gimenez backing up Arencibia. Washington said Arencibia may start out getting a "little bit of the bulk of playing time," but Chirinos had an excellent spring and will play as well. Gimenez was claimed off waivers from the Athletics on Friday. The Rangers are going with three catchers to start the season because they don't need to add fifth starter Nick Martinez to the 25-man roster until he pitches against the Rays on Saturday.
• Yu Darvish, who opened the season on the disabled list with stiffness in his neck, is scheduled to throw on the side on Tuesday. Darvish will likely need one more side session -- either an extended bullpen session or a simulated game before he comes off the disabled list.
• Colby Lewis is scheduled to pitch in a Minor League exhibition game between Triple-A Round Rock and Double-A Frisco on Tuesday. He is scheduled to throw 90 pitches. After that, the Rangers will decide if he needs another game in the Minors or is ready to return to the Major Leagues for the first time since July 18, 2012.
• Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins set a National League record for shortstops Monday with his 14th consecutive Opening Day start for the same franchise. Cincinnati's Dave Concepcion held the previous mark with 13. Rollins also tied Baltimore's Cal Ripken Jr. for the big league record. Ripken started 14 straight from 1983-96.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.