The Texas Rangers moved quickly in response to the loss of promising left-hander Martin Perez for at least the first month of the season because of a forearm injury.

The Rangers contacted Detroit about right-hander Rick Porcello, according to a major-league official. They also kept open the lines of communication with uber-agent Scott Boras concerning free-agent right-hander Kyle Lohse.

The conversations were more than idle chats. The Rangers have a clear and growing need for a starting pitcher.

A month ago, the likely landing spots for both Porcello and Lohse were the Rangers or a team that lost a pitcher to a spring-training injury. The Rangers are the unfortunate team, too.

Porcello, who was 10-12 with a 4.59 ERA in 176 1/3 innings last season, is becoming attractive to pitching-starved clubs. He worked four scoreless innings against Houston on Monday, allowing three hits and striking out six. The Rangers were among a multitude of teams that had a scout at the game.

“He’s thought about some things,” Detroit manager Jim Leyland told reporters. “He’s worked on some things. I think he’s confident.”

Porcello has two advantages over Lohse. Porcello has been in the Tigers’ camp from the start and will be ready for opening day; Lohse is falling behind. Adding Porcello would not cost the Rangers a high draft choice.