Rangers 5, Giants 0
A near-perfect day for the Texas Rangers pitching staff ended
the same way so many others have this season: in the training
Alexi Ogando pitched three perfect innings before leaving with a
strained groin after a bunt single, combining with three relievers
on a three-hitter to lead Texas past the San Francisco Giants 5-0
The Rangers also shut out San Francisco for the first time this
season in a 5-0 win Friday.
”Seemed like everything we tried to do,” Texas manager Ron
Washington said, ”worked for us.”
Well, almost everything.
Robbie Ross (6-0) allowed only a double to pinch-hitter Aubrey
Huff in the sixth while working four innings. Mike Adams gave up
two hits in a scoreless eighth and Joe Nathan tossed a 1-2-3
The AL West-leading Rangers tagged Tim Lincecum (2-7) for all
their runs and finished a 4-6 road trip. Even still, the Bay Area
finale left its mark.
Ogando, who made his first start of the season filling in for
injured Derek Holland, could be the latest Texas starter headed for
the disabled list.
”Right now it feels pretty bad,” said Ogando, scheduled to
have an MRI exam Monday back in Texas. ”I feel bad because of the
situation we’re in but that’s something that happens in
Josh Hamilton and Ian Kinsler each drove in two runs to chase
Lincecum after 5 2-3 innings in the fifth straight loss for San
Francisco’s shaggy-haired ace. He allowed nine hits, struck out
five and walked four.
The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner has been erratic all
Sunday was no different.
Lincecum labored through a 30-pitch first inning – walking three
straight with two outs – before striking out the side in the second
on a rare warm, windless day at San Francisco’s waterfront
ballpark. In the third, Elvis Andrus tripled and scored on Adrian
Beltre’s two-out double to give Texas a 1-0 lead.
Everything really unraveled for the Giants in the fourth.
Three straight singles by the Rangers loaded the bases, the last
coming on a bunt by Ogando that trickled between Lincecum and third
baseman Pablo Sandoval. Ogando limped off the field after the play,
leaving with a right groin strain after throwing 39 pitches.
Kinsler hit a two-run double to left to put the Rangers ahead
3-0. Lincecum got Beltre to pop out to right with the bases loaded,
but he never settled into a rhythm.
Hamilton hit another two-run double in the sixth to extend
Texas’ lead to 5-0 and send Lincecum into another four days of
misery. The lanky right-hander is winless in eight straight
Lincecum, who pitched the Game 5 World Series clincher for the
Giants at Texas in 2010 and also helped beat the Rangers earlier in
that Series, has a 6.00 ERA this season.
”I was just looking to come in and compete against a very good
team, try to right what I’ve been doing wrong the last 10 starts,”
Lincecum said. ”I didn’t do that. Executing my pitches is the
biggest problem. I had a good second inning and I wanted to carry
that over but nothing was smooth.”
This time, the stars on the mound belonged to the Rangers.
Not until Huff’s pinch-hit double off Ross with one out in the
sixth did the Giants even get a hit. Gregor Blanco followed with a
grounder to the pitcher, Huff was tagged out in a rundown heading
for third and Beltre’s throw nabbed Blanco leaning too far off
first for a double play.
Angel Pagan and Nate Schierholtz singled off Adams in the
eighth. Then Kinsler snagged a grounder by Brandon Crawford at
second and flipped it back-handed to Andrus out of his glove to
start another dramatic double play.
The biggest relief for Texas, though, came on the mound.
Washington was hoping for about 60 pitches from Ogando, who took
the turn in the rotation for Holland after the left-hander landed
on the disabled list Thursday with a fatigued throwing shoulder. He
also had a stomach virus that caused him to lose about 15
Ogando, who has made 27 relief appearances this season, was in
line to make at least one more start. He will head back to the
bullpen when Holland and Roy Oswalt – who is scheduled to throw
about 80 pitches for Double-A Frisco on Tuesday – are healthy
enough to rejoin the rotation.
The bullpen bonanza came two days after six Seattle relievers
combined to no-hit the Los Angeles Dodgers.
”I wanted Ogando to keep going to possibly get that, which was
sweet,” Ross said. ”Then I get in there and after the first
inning I’m like, `Oh, dang, we have a no-hitter going.’ After that,
I kind of forgot. That’s part of it.”
NOTES: Giants LF Melky Cabrera missed his third straight game
with a strained right hamstring. He took batting practice before
the game and manager Bruce Bochy remains hopeful Cabrera will
return for Tuesday’s game against Houston. … Washington rested
Nelson Cruz and Michael Young. Cruz left Saturday’s game in the
eighth because of a sore right Achilles, which he attributed to his
shoes. Cruz expects to play when Texas opens a six-game homestand
against Arizona on Tuesday.
Follow Antonio Gonzalez at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP