Rangers 15, Marlins 5
Alexi Ogando kept insisting he felt fine and wasn’t wearing out
only halfway through the season for the Texas Rangers.
Maybe now everybody will believe him.
Ogando limited the Florida Marlins to two runs and five hits
over 6 2-3 innings with a career-high eight strikeouts, ending the
right-hander’s personal three-game losing streak in the Rangers’
15-5 victory Friday night when Nelson Cruz homered and had six RBIs
on his 31st birthday.
”Ogando never wavered from his confidence, and more than what
we thought, it was about what he thought, and it’s obvious he kept
saying that he was OK,” manager Ron Washington said. ”Tonight, he
went out there and he did it.”
Ogando (8-3), a converted outfielder who had never been a
starter before this season, hadn’t pitched past the fifth inning in
any of his previous three starts. He was 7-0 with a 2.10 ERA his
first 12 starts before that.
”I never say that I’m tired, I never admitted that, never think
that I’m tired. I always told you that I’m OK, that my arm is right
and my energy is there,” Ogando said through a translator. ”I’m
new starting games, been learning every outing.”
He got plenty of help from the Rangers offense, which rebounded
for a shutout loss in Houston the previous night to score a
season-high 15 runs.
Texas got its first seven runs in 3 2-3 innings off Anibal
Sanchez (6-2), who saw the end of his Marlins’ season record of 14
consecutive starts without a loss.
”He’s a better pitcher than that. You could see he wasn’t in
tune tonight,” manager Jack McKeon said. ”He doesn’t generally
walk anybody. He got behind guys, walked guys, nibbled with them
and missed with his breaking ball. This is a hitting club over
here. You can’t mess around with them. And he killed himself,
walking two leadoff guys. That’s like a kiss of death really. They
always score, I don’t care where you’re at.”
Michael Young led off the second with a walk and put the AL
West-leading Rangers ahead to stay when he scored on the first of
Taylor Teagarden’s two doubles.
Beltre had an RBI single in the third before Cruz hit his 19th
homer – a 412-foot, three-run blast over the Rangers bullpen in
right-center – to make it 5-0.
After the Marlins intentionally walked reigning AL MVP Josh
Hamilton to load the bases with two outs in the fourth, Beltre hit
a two-run double to right to chase Sanchez.
Andres Blanco led off the Texas eighth with his second homer,
starting a six-run outburst that included a three-run triple by
”It was a good birthday,” Cruz said, giving plenty of credit
”It’s not that easy and the way he’s been doing it is
amazing,” Cruz said. ”After three bad starts, it’s good for him
to come back strong.”
The Marlins didn’t even have a baserunner until Hanley Ramirez
led off the fifth with a walk. They got their first hit on Greg
Dobbs’ two-out single that inning, though they didn’t score after
John Buck struck out.
While Sanchez was getting knocked around, Ogando threw 29 of his
first 36 pitches through three innings for strikes. Ogando struck
out six while retiring the first 12 Marlins batters mixing all of
Ogando threw 102 pitches, 75 for strikes, and really had no
trouble until the seventh when Florida started with three
consecutive hits to finally score against him.
Last Saturday against the New York Mets, Ogando gave up eight
hits and six runs while throwing 76 pitches over three innings. He
trailed 3-0 after only four batters.
He was dehydrated when he left his previous start after throwing
104 pitches over five innings on a hot afternoon in Atlanta. He
gave up six runs in only 1 2-3 innings at the New York Yankees on
The losing streak had raised questions about whether he was
wearing out and the Rangers had even discussed bypassing one of his
last starts before the All-Star break. He has thrown 97 2-3
innings, already 25 more than he did combined last season in 18
minor league games and then 44 appearances as a setup reliever for
Washington said there are still thoughts about giving Ogando a
The only other loss for Sanchez this season was also in Texas,
on April 10 at Houston when he gave up six runs and 13 hits in 4
2-3 innings in his second start. Sanchez hasn’t won since June 10
against Arizona despite allowing only four runs over 20 innings his
previous three starts – all no-decisions in one-run losses by the
Reliever Brian Sanches was done after giving up consecutive
two-out RBI doubles to Hamilton and Beltre in the sixth that gave
Texas a 9-0 lead.
Notes: Beltre has 18 RBIs his last 21 games, and has 61 for the
season. … Texas opened a stretch of 10 consecutive home games
before the All-Star break. … The only other time the Marlins
played at Rangers Ballpark was 2003, when McKeon was also their
manager. McKeon, now 80, became the Florida manager again last
week. Back in 1963, McKeon managed the Dallas-Fort Worth Rangers, a
Triple-A team for the Minnesota Twins. That was nine seasons before
the major league Rangers came into existence when the Washington
Senators moved their franchise to the Lone Star State.