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

room.

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

on Sunday.

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

ninth.

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

baseball.”

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

season.

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

starts.

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

pounds.

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