Marlins-Rangers Preview

It may be the Texas heat or the workload that comes with being a

major league starting pitcher for the first time, but most likely

batters have figured out the Rangers’ Alexi Ogando.

The right-hander will try to snap a three-start losing streak

Friday night when Texas opens a weekend set against the Florida

Marlins, who look to win three straight for the first time since

late May.

Ogando had been 7-0 with a 2.10 ERA in 12 starts before his

slide began June 14. He was reached for six runs and six hits in

only 1 2-3 innings of a 12-4 loss to the New York Yankees, then

gave up three runs in five innings in a 4-2 defeat at Atlanta in

his next start.

On Saturday, Ogando was ripped for six runs – three earned – and

eight hits in three innings as the Rangers fell 14-5 to the New

York Mets.

Manager Ron Washington isn’t too concerned about the struggles

from Ogando (7-3, 2.87 ERA), who’s already pitched 91 innings this

year. He logged 41 2-3 innings in 44 relief appearances last

season.

“How many starts you get? 30? He had three (poor ones) in a

row,” Washington said. “I hope he makes an adjustment in his next

start.”

Ogando will be opposed by Anibal Sanchez (6-1, 2.82), who will

try to end his streak of three straight no-decisions for

Florida.

The right-hander has allowed four runs and 18 hits in 20 innings

over that stretch. Facing Seattle on Sunday, Sanchez gave up one

run in six innings, but the Marlins fell 2-1 after reliever Steve

Cishek uncorked a wild pitch on an intentional walk that plated the

go-ahead run in the 10th inning.

“The pitching was pretty good. Anibal wasn’t quite as sharp as

he’s been, but he was good enough to keep the score down,” manager

Jack McKeon told the Marlins’ official website.

Sanchez, who hasn’t lost since April 10, suffered the only

setback in four career decisions during interleague play against

Texas on June 16, 2010. He gave up three runs and eight hits in six

innings of a 6-3 defeat in Miami.

The Marlins (36-45) closed a miserable month Thursday with a 5-4

victory over Oakland – their second straight after going 3-23.

“It was a rough one,” said winning pitcher Chris Volstad.

“Hopefully this is a step forward and we can keep building off of

this and go into Texas and keep playing the way we played these

last two games.”

John Buck had two hits and two RBIs, and Logan Morrison and

Hanley Ramirez also drove in runs for Florida, which hasn’t won

three in a row since sweeping the Giants in San Francisco from May

24-26.

“There’s a little momentum,” McKeon said. “They have a good

feeling about themselves. All we need to do is win three or four in

a row and who knows, maybe it will snowball.”

Texas (43-39) opens a 10-game homestand after managing four hits

in a 7-0 loss to the NL-worst Astros on Thursday. The Rangers had

won eight straight in Houston.

Elvis Andrus had two hits after missing four games with a wrist

injury.

“Before I got hurt, I was swinging the ball pretty good, so

today it was really good for me that my timing was still there,”

said Andrus, who’s batting .326 (14 for 43) in his last 11

games.