July 6, 2011

Rangers' offensive boom, Ogando wallop Orioles 13-5

Bats explode again to reach 30 runs in three-game sweep.

ARLINGTON -- The Texas Rangers don't want the Baltimore Orioles to leave town.

Why would they after the three-day drubbing the Rangers handed the Orioles, capped by Wednesday's 13-5 victory.

The victory gave Texas its first three-game sweep in more than a month. Those are the kinds of things that are going to happen when your offense collects 30 runs and 47 hits, which it did in the three games against Baltimore.

Wednesday's 19 hits were overkill with right-hander Alexi Ogando on the mound, but no one is complaining.

"We were due to break out and we did," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We did throughout the whole lineup. Elvis really swung the bat. Michael really swung the bat. Beltre really swung the bat. Cruz got some big hits. Hamilton battled for at-bats. Nap got one tonight. It was everywhere."

Washington named nearly the entire lineup for the offense with good reason. Ten Rangers players had hits, with eight scoring runs.

Finding just one hitting star was difficult as Elvis Andrus had four hits and Michael Young three. Young, Nelson Cruz and Mike Napoli each had three RBIs.

It started early as the Rangers scored four times off Jeremy Guthrie in the first. It didn't end there, though, as Texas also scored runs in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings.

"We've maintained our energy," said Andrus, who snapped a 0-for-15 slide with an infield single in the first and went on to score three times with an RBI. "Before the last three or four games, our energy wasn't inning by inning. Now everybody is hustling every inning, every at-bat. The intensity we have right now is what we need to play with the entire year."

The four-run first was plenty of support for Ogando, who will go into a prolonged break on a roll.

Ogando, who isn't scheduled to pitch again until July 19 as the Rangers monitor his innings, allowed three runs in seven innings as he put an end to a breakout first half of his season.

Wednesday marked the 13th time in 18 starts this year that Ogando (9-3) has allowed three runs or fewer.

"Everything I was throwing was hitting the spots," Ogando said. "When you do those things at the beginning of the game, you feel good. I always try to throw my pitches and give us a chance to play. It's nice to have so many runs scored."

He didn't have to be as fine against Baltimore as the Rangers spotted him a 4-0 lead in the first inning.

Adrian Beltre's sacrifice fly off Guthrie put the Rangers up 1-0. Young followed with an RBI double, and Cruz plated two more runs with a ground ball single up the middle.

Ogando wobbled in the second inning, giving up a two-run homer to Derrek Lee. But Ogando rebounded by retiring the next 10 batters before allowing an infield single to open the sixth inning.

By that time the Rangers had added two more runs to take a 6-2 lead and were on their way to their first sweep since winning four June 2-5 in Cleveland.

The Rangers scored runs off all four Baltimore pitchers and are hitting .359 in July after collecting their fourth consecutive game with at least 10 hits.

"We swung it well," said Young, who had three hits for the third consecutive game. "We pitched well. We played good D. Hopefully we can get some momentum. We know we can hit. We have a talented group of guys on offense, guys who we can bring in off the bench, we have the guys who can put together quality at-bats."

Anthony Andro


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