Sunday, June 10, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Rangers 5, Giants 0
By Bryan Dolgin
How it happened: Alexi Ogando’s first start of the season lasted just three innings, and it wasn't because the Texas Rangers thought that three perfect innings would suffice. He left the game in the top of the fourth inning after hustling down the first-base line on a bunt single, straining his right groin.
Ogando’s bunt set up a bases loaded situation with one out for Ian Kinsler. Kinsler delivered a two-RBI double to left field for a 3-0 Rangers lead.
The Rangers enhanced their lead to 5-0 in the sixth when Josh Hamilton delivered a two-out, two-RBI double to right field that ended the afternoon for Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum. Hamilton’s major-league leading RBI total moved up to 61.
After Ogando’s perfect three, Robbie Ross pitched and the game remained perfect until an error by Kinsler with two outs in the fifth. The no-hitter stayed intact until one out in the sixth when Ross surrendered a double to Aubrey Huff. Ross pitched four scoreless relief innings.
Walking the walk: Lincecum entered the game ranked second in the National League with 35 walks. In the first inning with two outs, he walked the bases loaded. Mike Napoli grounded into a fielders’ choice to leave the bases loaded. Napoli entered this game batting .409 (9-for-22) on the trip. He is now 0-for-2 this season with the bases loaded and two outs.
Talking the talk: Lincecum also entered this start with opponents hitting .329 with runners in scoring position, the third highest average in Major League Baseball. The Rangers didn’t capitalize in the first, but they did in the third. One out after the fourth triple of the season for Elvis Andrus to Triples Alley at AT&T Park, Adrian Beltre collected his 37th RBI with a double to put the Rangers up, 1-0.
More RISP, more rewards: Kinsler’s bases-loaded double in the fourth inning makes him 2-for-8 with two doubles and four RBIs when the bases are loaded. Hamilton entered the game as a .353 hitter with runners in scoring position, and he capitalized in the sixth.
E-4: Kinsler made 11 errors in 2011 -- for the season. He already has eight this season, including two in this series and one Sunday. Kinsler committed three errors during the 10-game road trip.
For starters: Ogando made his first start in his 28th appearance. As an all-star starting pitcher last season, he was 13-8 with a 3.56 ERA in 29 starts. In 2012, he had not worked more than two innings in a relief outing, and his highest pitch count was 39. He matched that through three innings Sunday. His strained right groin will be re-evaluated Monday.
Right move: Rightfielder Nelson Cruz left Saturday’s game in the eighth because of a sore right Achilles, and he was not in the starting lineup Sunday. David Murphy made his second start of the season in right field. Cruz pinch-hit for Ross in the eighth inning, and he delivered a line-drive single to center field.
Centered: Cruz not being in the starting lineup also meant that Craig Gentry was in the starting lineup against a right-handed starting pitcher. Gentry had seven hits in this series, and he was 9-for-16 on the road trip.
First thought: Michael Young was not in the starting lineup, but he was available to pinch-hit. Mitch Moreland started at first base.
Road trippin’: The Rangers ended their 10-game road trip with a 4-6 record. They lost two of three in Anaheim and three of four in Oakland, but they won two of three against the Giants.