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Saturday, April 13, 2013
Matchup: Alexi Ogando vs. Joe Saunders

By Todd Wills

The Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners have split the first two games of a four-game series heading into Saturday night's game at Safeco field. The Rangers will send right-hander Alexi Ogando to the mound against Mariners left-hander Joe Saunders, who brings back bad memories for Rangers fans. First pitch is at 8:10 p.m. on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM.

Ogando (2-0, 0.77 ERA): Ogando wasn't as sharp in Monday night's start against the Rays, but he still allowed only one run in six innings. He is off to another great start as a starter after doing the same two years ago in his first go around in the rotation … Ogando is 7-0 with a 1.67 ERA for seven career April starts … Ogando has dominated left-handed hitters this season, allowing two hits in 20 at-bats. He's allowed two hits in 17 at-bats with runners on base … Ogando has struggled some against Seattle with a 1-0 record and 4.91 ERA in four career starts and 13 overall appearances against the Mariners … Ogando has a 3.00 ERA at Safeco Field.

Saunders (1-1, 3.48 ERA): Saunders broke the hearts of Ranger fans in last season's AL wild-card Game, allowing a single run in 5⅔ innings for Baltimore as the Orioles eliminated Texas from the playoffs with a 5-1 victory … Saunders has started this season well, blanking the Astros for six innings in a 3-0 victory on Monday. Saunders gave up six hits and walked only one … Saunders has great control, walking 2.8 batters per nine innings. He was 9-13 with a 4.07 ERA for Arizona and Baltimore in 2012 … Saunders has pitched well throughout his career at Safeco Field with all but one start coming for a visiting team … Saunders is 7-0 with a 1.91 ERA for 10 career starts at Safeco … Saunders has a terrible history against the Rangers, except for last season's playoff game. He is 3-7 with a 6.48 ERA in 58⅓ innings pitched.

Hitters: Justin Smoak (5-for-12, two RBI) has struggled in the big leagues, but he's had success against Ogando. Ian Kinsler (10-for-24, 4 HR, 8 RBI) and Nelson Cruz (6-for-20, 2 HR, 3 RBI) have handled Saunders.