Monday, May 23, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Rangers 4, ChiSox 0
By Randy Jennings
ARLINGTON, Texas-- Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz each homered in their respect returns from the disabled list as the Rangers defeated the White Sox, 4-0, Monday night in front of 30,861 at Rangers Ballpark.
The fans gave Hamilton, the reigning American League MVP, a standing ovation when he was introduced. They had barely settled into their seats when his home run in the first inning had them right back up again.
Hamilton's first home run of the season carried 358 feet over the right-field wall off left-hander John Danks.
Cruz answered Hamilton in the sixth with a 402-foot blast into the seats in left field with Adrian Beltre aboard. It was No. 8 on the season for Cruz.
Hamilton doubled in the eighth and scored the final run on Beltre’s sacrifice fly.
* Excellent starts are something Rangers fans have come to expect from Alexi Ogando (5-0.)
Ogando did his best pitching with men on base. The White Sox put their leadoff man on base in four of the first five innings but got nowhere.
Ogando follows a recent trend of strong pitching by Rangers starters. It is the eighth straight game the Rangers starter has gone at least 6.2 innings. And that’s 12 straight games the Rangers have allowed no more than four runs.
Ogando stranded runners at first and third in the fifth by getting a soft comebacker from Juan Pierre for the third out. That turned out to be the most serious threat of the night -- Ogando allowed five hits and struck out six.
It was Ogando's first career shutout and the first at home by a Rangers pitcher since 2008.
* Michael Young, making his 12th> start at first base, started a snappy double play in the third inning. Young was holding runner Gordon Beckham and grabbed a one-hopper off the bat of Pierre. He stepped on first to get Pierre and made an accurate throw to Elvis Andrus in plenty of time to apply a tag on Beckham.
Young had trouble on a couple of foul popups in the fourth and sixth innings.
* No matter where the Rangers put David Murphy in the outfield, he seems to do an above-average defensive job.
Getting the chance to play center tonight, Murphy made an outstanding play in the fourth inning.
He raced to his right to cut off a ball hit by Paul Konerko, made a spin and released a perfect throw to Ian Kinsler, covering second. Konerko was trying to stretch the single and was called out.