MINNEAPOLIS -- The two walks to Josh Willingham were costly, and the slider Justin Morneau tattooed into the right-field seats was a bad pitch, but the Texas Rangers can hardly blame Alexi Ogando for Sunday’s outcome.
He was just as effective as his teammates with the bat, and Ogando never even picked one up.
Texas was shut out for just the second time this season -- the first coming against the Tampa Bay Rays April 10 – leaving Ogando with a quality start but an 'L' next to his name in the box score for the second time in his past three outings.
“I thought Ogando threw the ball well,” manager Ron Washington said. “On most nights, what he gave us out there today, I’ll take it, and I think we’ll win some ballgames. Today wasn’t one of those days.”
Ogando tried to get a first-pitch slider over for strike one on Morneau with two outs and Texas leading 1-0 in the sixth inning but caught too much of the plate, and the Twins slugger didn’t miss it. Willingham was on first base after coaxing a two-out walk two innings after he walked and then scored on a sacrifice fly for the game’s first run.
“I was being too careful,” Ogando said through an interpreter about facing Willingham. “Too cautious.”
The 29 year old allowed three runs on four hits and two walks in six innings with three strikeouts. After giving up just two earned runs in his first three starts this season, Ogando has allowed 10 in his past three. The right-hander is 0-2 with a 5.87 ERA in that stretch.
The Twins right-hander ceded just six hits and a walk in eight innings as Minnesota shut out an opponent for the first time this season.