(Sports Network) - Alexi Ogando returns to the rotation on Wednesday when the
Texas Rangers play the rubber match of their season-opening three-game
series against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
Ogando won 13 games as a starter in 2011 and was named to the American League
All-Star team. However, manager Ron Washington moved him back to the bullpen
last season and he was 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA.
The 29-year-old right-hander has normally gotten off to a quick start, as he
is 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA in his career in April, his lowest ERA for any month.
"I think he has a feel for what it is to start," Texas skipper Ron Washington
said. "He knows the preparation and dedication it takes. He's experienced the
grind and understands what he needs to do to maintain himself."
Ogando will be trying to match Yu Darvish's near perfect performance from
Tuesday. Darvish didn't allow a baserunner through 8 2/3 innings in Texas' 7-0
The Japanese hurler seemed unstoppable and was one out away from perfection
when Marwin Gonzalez hit a ground ball between his legs and into center field
for a single. Darvish was then replaced by Michael Kirkman, and despite not
getting to finish the game, recorded an impressive 14 strikeouts.
"I think my teammates were more disappointed than I was," Darvish said through
Ian Kinsler hit a two-run home run for the Rangers, who recorded 12 hits.
Lance Berkman had two RBI while Nelson Cruz, Elvis Andrus and Mitch Moreland
knocked in a run apiece in the victory, Texas' first of the season.
Berkman is 5-for-8 through the first two games of this series and the former
Astro now has a 14-game hitting streak at Minute Maid Park, during which he is
hitting .491 with six homers and 22 RBI.
Gonzalez and Jose Altuve were the only two to record hits for the Astros, who
saw starter Lucas Harrell (0-1) allow one run on six hits over six innings.
Going for Houston on Wednesday will be righty Philip Humber, who bounced back
and forth between the bullpen and rotation last season for the Chicago White
Sox, going 5-5 with a 6.44 ERA in 26 games (16 starts).
However, Humber, who pitched collegiately for Rice University, became the 21st
hurler to toss a perfect game after retiring all 27 Seattle Mariners hitters
in a 4-0 victory at Safeco Field on Apr. 21.
Texas has dominated the Astros over the past four years, winning 20 of the 26
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