Texas Rangers: Andres Blanco

Rangers outright five off 40-man roster

November, 2, 2011
11/02/11
3:15
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers have outrighted the following five players off the 40-man roster after the group cleared waivers Wednesday: infielders Andres Blanco and Esteban German and right-handers Omar Beltre, Eric Hurley and Merkin Valdez.

Beltre, 30, spent the entire season on the disabled list after having spine surgery on Feb. 23. He had a brief rehabilitation assignment in the Arizona League, making two appearances in late June and early July, his only live action all year. He opened the season on the 15-day disabled list and was transferred to the 60-day DL on April 8 for the remainder of the year.

Blanco, 27, batted .224 with twp homers and three RBI in 36 games for Texas this season, missing six weeks because of a pair of disabled list stints. He was on the DL from July 7-30 with a stress reaction in his back and Aug. 9-31 with lower back inflammation. He was not on any of the Rangers' postseason rosters this year.

German, 33, appeared in 11 games as a September call-up for Texas after spending the campaign with Triple-A Round Rock. He ranked among Pacific Coast League leaders in steals (second, 44), runs (fourth, 94), and walks (fifth, 72). He was on Texas' postseason roster for all three rounds of the 2011 playoffs.

Hurley, 26, went 8-3 with a 5.55 ERA (52 earned runs/84 1/3 innings pitched) in 16 games/starts for Round Rock in 2011. He endured two DL stints that caused him to make just two starts before June 20. He was on the Rangers’ 60-day DL from April 23-June 23. Hurley was originally selected by Texas in the first round (30th overall) of the 2004 June draft.

Valdez, 29, made five appearances for Texas as a September call-up but was not with the club during the postseason. He was signed by Texas to a minor league contract on July 24 after being released by the Dodgers on July 18.

With these moves and Baltimore's acquisition of right-handed pitcher Darren O'Day on a waiver claim earlier Wednesday, the Rangers have 32 players on the club’s 40-man roster.

Adrian Beltre, 4 others activated

September, 1, 2011
9/01/11
1:36
PM CT
Release from the Texas Rangers:

The Texas Rangers announced the following roster moves today:
  • Reinstated third baseman Adrian Beltre from the 15-day disabled list.
  • Reinstated infielder Andres Blanco from the 15-day disabled list.
  • Added catcher Matt Treanor (#15), acquired in yesterday’s trade with Kansas City, to the active roster.
  • Added left-handed pitcher Michael Gonzalez (#51), acquired in yesterday’s trade with Baltimore, to the active roster.
  • Purchased the contract of infielder Esteban German from Triple-A Round Rock.
  • Purchased the contract of right-handed pitcher Merkin Valdez from Triple-A Round Rock.
  • Infielder Omar Quintanilla outrighted to Triple-A Round Rock.

Beltre was placed on the disabled list July 23 with a left hamstring strain. He suffered the injury while running the bases on July 22 vs. Toronto. He has batted .276 with 20 home runs, 29 doubles, and 76 RBI in 100 games with Texas this season. At the time he was placed on the disabled list, he ranked among American League leaders in several offensive categories and led the circuit in games played. Despite missing over a month, Beltre still ranks third among Rangers in doubles and RBI. He played 2 games on an injury rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Round Rock, going 2-for-8 on Monday and Tuesday at Omaha, a pair of starts at third base.

Blanco was placed on the disabled list August 9 with lower back inflammation. He was also on the disabled list July 7-30 with a stress reaction in his lower back. Blanco has batted .206 with 2 home runs and 2 RBI in 28 games for Texas this season, making 16 starts. He has played for Triple-A Round Rock each of the past three days at Omaha, going 3-for-12 with 2 doubles and 2 RBI in 3 starts at shortstop. His last game with Texas was August 8 vs. Seattle.

Treanor, 35, was acquired yesterday from Kansas City in exchange for cash considerations. A member of the Rangers’ 2010 American League Champion squad, the Rangers had traded him to Kansas City on March 28 at the end of spring training. He has spent the entire season with the Royals, batting .226 (42-186) with 3 homers, 6 doubles, and 21 RBI in 65 games, including a team-high 62 starts behind the plate. Treanor missed all of August after being placed on the concussion disabled list on July 31, after which he was transferred to the regular 15-day disabled list. He played 7 games with Double-A Northwest Arkansas on injury rehabilitation assignment, going 1-for-3 in his last game on Sunday vs. Tulsa. His last big league game was July 30 at Cleveland.

Gonzalez, 33, was acquired yesterday from Baltimore in exchange for a player to be named later. He has gone 2-2 with a 4.27 ERA (22 ER/46.1 IP) in 49 relief appearances for Baltimore in 2011. The South Texas native and resident has held left-handed batters to a .211 (19-90) average this season, and a .212 (96-452) mark in his career. He has tossed 12.1 scoreless innings over his last 13 outings beginning July 22, with opponents batting .122 (5-41) in that span. Gonzalez has allowed runs in just one of his last 19 appearances.

German, 33, has spent the entire season with Round Rock (AAA), batting .301 with 7 home runs, 29 doubles, and 56 RBI in 123 games. He has played primarily third base and second base, but has also seen action in left and center field. He batted .452 (19-42) over his final 11 games with 9 runs scored. German was 44-for-53 (83.0%) in stolen base attempts. Through yesterday’s games, he ranked among Pacific Coast League leaders in steals (2nd, 44), runs (4th, 94), and walks (4th, 72), leading the Express in all three categories. He also led the club with 40 multi-hit games and 13 games of 3-or-more hits. This is the third straight year that German has been a late-season call-up for Texas. He was on the club’s 2010 American League Division Series roster, but did not play in the postseason. He has a career .278 average over 398 games in the majors with Oakland (2002-04), Texas (2005, 2009-10), and Kansas City (2006-08).

Valdez, 29, was signed by Texas to a minor league contract on July 24. He has gone 1-0 with 4 saves and a 2.35 ERA (4 ER/15.1 IP) in 12 relief appearances for Triple-A Round Rock, holding opponents to a .230 (14-61) average with 5 walks and 14 strikeouts. He began the year with Dodgers Triple-A affiliate Albuquerque, going 4-2 with 4 saves and a 3.58 ERA(20 ER/50.1 IP)in 38 relief appearances before being released on July 18. Valdez has pitched in 69 games in the major leagues with San Francisco (2004, 2008-09) and Toronto (2010), going 3-1 with a 5.53 ERA (42 ER/68.1 IP). The bulk of his big league action came with the Giants in 2008-09, establishing career highs in nearly every category when he pitched 48 games and 49.1 innings in 2009. His last major league appearance was with Toronto on April 25, 2010 at Tampa Bay.

Quintanilla cleared waivers and has been outrighted off the 40-man roster. He appeared in 11 games for Texas after having his contract purchased on July 8. The El Paso native has spent the rest of the year at Round Rock (AAA).

With these moves, the Rangers still have a full 40-man roster, including 30 players on the active roster.

Adrian Beltre, Andres Blanco return to field

August, 29, 2011
8/29/11
9:52
PM CT
Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre began his rehab assignment Monday with a 1-for-4 performance at the plate in Triple-A Round Rock's 4-3 loss at Omaha.

Beltre, who started at third base, singled, scored a run and struck out twice. He has been out with a strain on his left hamstring since July 23. Barring any setbacks, he should be back with the Rangers by Thursday. He is hitting .276 with 20 homers and 76 RBIs with the Rangers this season.

Utility infielder Andres Blanco joined Beltre in beginning a rehab assignment with Round Rock, going 1-for-3 with a throwing error at shortstop. He has been on the disabled list since Aug. 9 with lower back inflammation.

Notes: Blanco joining Beltre for rehab work

August, 27, 2011
8/27/11
5:23
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers utility infielder Andres Blanco doesn't really have an explanation as to why he can't swing a bat left-handed without feeling pain in his back.

"Whoever heard of that?" said Blanco, a switch hitter. "But I can swing right-handed. I'll have to do that."

Blanco has been on the disabled list since Aug. 9 with lower back inflammation. He said it feels better, but hasn't healed enough to let him bat left-handed.

"I feel fine defensively," Blanco said. "No problems."

So he's going out on a rehab assignment on Monday with third baseman Adrian Beltre. The two will join Triple-A Round Rock in Omaha to get some games in. Blanco said both players are on different schedules, noting that he's likely to stay longer with Round Rock than Beltre will.

Blanco, by the way, is hitting .211 as a right-handed hitter and .204 as a left-handed hitter this season. He has many more at-bats as a lefty though, with 49 on that side as opposed to 19 as a righty. In his career, Blanco is a .258 hitter right-handed and .252 left-handed.

Rosters expand on Thursday, so Blanco could rejoin the club with no necessary moves any time on or after that day.

Other notes:

* Beltre is set for his rehab assignment, though the length is uncertain. He's said all along that he didn't think he needed but a few games. The Rangers normally like rehabbing players to get at last 20 at-bats. With rosters expanding on Thursday, the club could decide to just let him play up until then, but they'll see how it goes on Monday first before plotting things out.

* Nelson Cruz said he will probably hit without batting gloves again, but that it wasn't automatic. "I'll see how I feel hitting today," Cruz said.

* Tonight's game is sold out. There are 5,500 tickets avaiable for Sunday's game.

Notes: Andres Blanco says back feels better

August, 22, 2011
8/22/11
5:41
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers infielder Andres Blanco said he took swings again Monday, for the third straight day, and that his sore back feels better.

He said it was bothering him a few weeks ago and that he had to just rest for 10 days. It hasn't been an issue since he's starting ramping up again, but he knows another setback could impact whether he has time to come back and help the club much before the end of the season.

"I don't think we'll see him back before September," Washington said.

Other notes:

* Washington said he'd like to get Michael Young a day off when he can at some point during this homestand. Young has played in 126 of the club's 128 games this seaosn, the most on the team (four ahead of Ian Kinsler).

* The Red Sox are shifting Tim Wakefield to Friday against the A's and pushing left-hander Andrew Miller up to Thursday.

Notes: Manager now sees fire in his closer

August, 18, 2011
8/18/11
7:08
PM CT
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- A few days prior to the trade deadline, Rangers manager Ron Washington told the media didn't see enough urgency or "fire," as he put it, from closer Neftali Feliz.

On Thursday, one night after Feliz got the save in a 4-3 Rangers win over the Angels that pushed the club's divison lead to a season-high seven games, Washington was asked if he sees that fire.

"I see it," Washington said. "He's found it at the right time. If you're ever going to have fire, you're going to have it down the stretch. This is the point of the year where championship teams and winning teams have a chance to do something, and he's stepping up."

Since Washington made his comment about Feliz's "fire," the closer has saved four of his last five opportunities and has given up three runs in 10 games (9 2/3 innings) -- and all of those occurred in a rough outing against Cleveland, his one blown save in that stretch. Earlier in the season, his walks were up and strikeouts down. But in this last span, he has eight strikeouts and two walks.

Feliz has saved his best work this season for the AL West. He is 1-0 with a 0.57 ERA and is 9-for-9 in save opportunities.

Washington said he doesn't believe Feliz ever feared for his job with the arrival of Koji Uehara and Mike Adams, but that he has a real sense of urgency when they come in the game because he knows it's likely that he's going to be coming in after them.

Other notes:

* Andres Blanco, on the disabled list with a stress reaction in his lower back, is taking grounders and running. He said he hopes to swing a bat while the team is in Chicago, but probably off a tee. "It's like I'm starting over, so I need to start slow," Blanco said. He did say he feels better and just wants to be sure he doesn't have any setbacks as he tries to progress to getting back on the field.

* Matt Harrison flew on Thursday morning to Chicago so that he would be able to get a full night's sleep before his start on Friday. The Rangers may not arrive until 4 or 5 a.m. after tonight's game in Anaheim. (I didn't see Alexi Ogando and it's possible he also flew to Chicago.)

* The Rangers weren't thrilled with playing a night game and then having to fly to Chicago to play the next night. But when both teams talked about this series before the season, the Rangers had no way of giving the Angels a day game in Arlington, which is normally how it's done. The Angels are at home all weekend, so they'd prefer to play the night game. "It's on the schedule," Washington said. "What can you do?"

* Washington said the plan is to go through a full batting practice regimen in Chicago despite the early-morning arrival.

Andres Blanco (back) returns to DL

August, 9, 2011
8/09/11
4:49
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers cleared the way for Alexi Ogando’s start on the mound tonight by placing reserve infielder Andres Blanco on the 15-day disabled list.

Blanco said his lower back remains the problem, but now the injury is a muscle.

“Sometimes you hurt something else when you try to be careful with an injury,’’ said Blanco, who originally went on the disabled list on July 8 with a stress reaction in his lower back.

The switch-hitting Blanco said he believes his latest injury was caused by taking left-handed swings.

“They want me to rest it and get 100 percent ready,’’ Blanco said.

Said manager Ron Washington: “The injury has been there. It didn’t just pop up. But this one is a little different than the first time he went on the DL. We need to get him right.’’

Blanco played as a defensive replacement for Michael Young in the final two innings of Monday’s 9-2 win over Seattle. Blanco has made 14 starts at shortstop this season and one each at second and third base. He’s batting .206 with two home runs.

Ogando returns after a three-day paternity leave.

Lineups: Rangers vs. Tigers

August, 4, 2011
8/04/11
10:23
AM CT
DETROIT -- Here are the lineups for today's game between the Rangers and Tigers. Manager Ron Washington is using the day game as a chance to get Andres Blanco in the game at third base and resting Yorvit Torrealba. The lineups:

RANGERS
2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
LF Josh Hamilton (L)
DH Michael Young
RF Nelson Cruz
C Mike Napoli
1B Mitch Moreland (L)
3B Andres Blanco (S)
CF Endy Chavez (L)

TIGERS
CF Andy Dirks (L)
1B Don Kelly (L)
LF Brennan Boesch (L)
DH Miguel Cabrera
C Victor Martinez (S)
2B Carlos Guillen (S)
3B Wilson Betemit (S)
RF Ryan Raburn
SS Ramon Santiago (S)

Brad Penny vs. Alexi Ogando

Notes: Gentry dealing with effects of slide

July, 27, 2011
7/27/11
5:14
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers outfielder Craig Gentry would normally be in the lineup against a left-handed starter, but the 27-year-old is still dealing with some symptoms following a hard slide into second base on Sunday.

Gentry said he's still getting some headaches and the club wants to be sure he's completely healthy before they put him back in the lineup. Gentry was tagging up late in Sunday's 3-0 loss to Toronto when he slid and hit his head and neck on the leg of second baseman Aaron Hill, who tried to make the tag.

Gentry said he felt fine the next day, but once his heart rate got up, he felt some light headaches come on.

"I'm fine, they just want to be sure it's all out of there," Gentry said.

Endy Chavez is in the lineup in Gentry's place.

Other notes:

* Andres Blanco is scheduled to hit with the team on Thursday and if all goes well, he'll head to Triple-A Round Rock for a rehab assignment this weekend. He would then join the club in Detroit next week for a series Tuesday through Thursday.

* Manager Ron Washington was asked about C.J. Wilson's comments after his start last night that he was "100 percent unlucky." Wilson was lifted in the fifth inning following three straight walks and a hit.

"I don't know how you describe unlucky," Washington said. "The game of baseball, I know when balls find holes and they go through and the outfielders pick them up and throw them in, they are called base hits. I don't know how you describe unlucky. I don't know. It's beyond my comprehension."

* Omar Quintanilla is expected to get a start at shortstop in the next few days. Washington said he wants to get Elvis Andrus a day off.

* Rangers longtime scorer Dan Schimek, who was stricken in the press box during Wednesday's game, is in stable condition at a local hospital.

Andres Blanco aims for medical clearance

July, 26, 2011
7/26/11
10:30
AM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers infield utility man Andres Blanco, currently on the disabled list with a stress reaction in his lower back, took some batting practice Sunday.

“I could feel it some, but I didn’t have a setback,’’ said Blanco, who was icing his back Monday.

He’s missed 15 games since suffering his injury on July 7. He was eligible to come off the disabled list on July 22.

“I feel like I’m on schedule, but I’ve got to get clearance from the trainer and everybody,’’ Blanco said.

* The Texas Rangers, in partnership with the City of Arlington Police and Fire Departments, will announce the details of a new "don’t text and drive" campaign today at Rangers Ballpark.

Pitcher Derek Holland, who is leading the initiative for the new campaign, will join city of Arlington Police Chief Theron Bowman and Fire Chief and Director of Emergency Management Don Crowson in discussing details of "Keep Your Thumbs on the Wheel."

The campaign will include a public service announcement, which will be unveiled Tuesday, as well as a poster initiative in Arlington public schools.

Notes: Chris Davis in lineup against LHP

July, 24, 2011
7/24/11
4:58
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers didn't call up Chris Davis to have him sit on the bench. They need the left-handed hitter to step in the lineup and help fill the large void created by Adrian Beltre's disabled list stint.

So Davis found himself in the lineup as the designated hitter and batting seventh despite the Rangers facing left-handed pitcher Brett Cecil. Manager Ron Washington said he won't necessarily play Davis against every lefty, but he intends to get him in the lineup.

Davis is 4-for-7 off left-handed pitching in limited major league action this season. He was just 4-for-27 with one RBI and 13 strikeouts in 2010. He was pinch hit for in the ninth Saturday with a left-handed reliever on the mound, but Washington had Mike Napoli on the bench and in position to get a favorable matchup.

Davis has talked the last two days about this being a huge opportunity for him to shine. Here's the ESPNDallas.com story about that from Saturday.

Davis got a hit in his first game up on Saturday, driving in a run on a single in the fourth to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead.

"The biggest thing for me was to go up there and have that same kind of feel that I had in Triple-A," Davis said. "I was a little anxious to get back in there. But after that first at-bat, I felt good. I was glad to get the hit when I got hit. The curve ball was down and I was able to put a good swing on it and drive it into right field."

Oddly, Davis didn't have a ground ball come his way at third outside of a double down the line that was just out of his reach. Davis said he was tired, which may have helped calm his nerves.

"Once we got close to game time, I started thinking more about what I needed to do as far as being at third, what my role was and having been up here a few times meant it wasn't nerves as much as anxiety," Davis said. "You're ready to get the game going."

Other notes:

* Andres Blanco was scheduled to take batting practice for the first time with the team Sunday. He said he feels his lower back more when he's batting left-handed (the pain is in the right side of his back). But Blanco is seeing improvement. And if all goes well, he would run the bases in the next few days and head off for a rehab assignment as the team departs for Toronto.

* The Angels beat the Orioles earlier today, so the Rangers need to win to say four games up in the AL West.

Quick hits before the getaway game

July, 21, 2011
7/21/11
10:35
AM CT
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- It's a quick turnaround today as the Texas Rangers look to bounce back from a disappointing 9-8 loss Wednesday night that saw their 12-game win streak come to an end and allowed the Los Angeles Angels to move back to within four games of the division lead.

Today's afternoon start (2:35 CT) sets up as a terrific pitching matchup as C.J. Wilson looks for a team-best 11th win against Jered Weaver, the majors' ERA leader.

Here's a some quick-hitters to get you ready:

* Manager Ron Washington said Wednesday night that Nelson Cruz will be back in the lineup after the slumping slugger sat out Wednesday night's game. David Murphy played in right field and contributed two hits, including a two-run home run.

* Josh Hamilton continues to deal with his frustrations at the plate during day games. Don't expect him to sit this one. Washington made that clear Wednesday, saying also that he has never considered dropping Hamilton in the lineup in day games. Perhaps one positive for Hamilton is that it is an overcast morning in Anaheim, although the forecast calls for the clouds for the burn off.

Hamilton has tried special contact lenses and now he could go to sunglasses that he's talked about some. We'll soon find out.

* Mike Napoli will be behind the plate for today's finale, Washington said, giving him two starts against his former team in this series. In the opener, Napoli reached base in his first four at-bats and twice walked with two-outs and came around to score both times.

* Elvis Andrus had a tough night Wednesday, going hitless in four at-bats with a couple strikeouts, plus a throwing error in the first inning when the Angels struck for two runs, and then later being unable to throw out two Angels hitters that reached on infield singles in the six-run sixth inning. However, prior to the game, Washington said he has no plans to rest Andrus for today's game, saying the All-Star break and Monday's off day should have provided him plenty of rest.

* Infielder Andres Blanco continues to have issues with his back. It's keeping him from taking batting practice in the cages with his normal weight bat, instead using the lighter fungo bat. Washington didn't seem concerned that Blanco be out longer than expected, but it is not certain if Blanco will be ready to come off the disabled list when he's eligible in a few days.

Notes: Alexi Ogando feels rested, ready

July, 17, 2011
7/17/11
1:25
PM CT
SEATTLE -- Rangers starter Alexi Ogando said Sunday that he feels fine and is ready to make his first second-half start Tuesday in Anaheim. He hasn't pitched since throwing six pitches and getting two outs late in last Tuesday's All-Star Game.

Ogando's last start was July 6, when he threw a quality start in a win over the Orioles.

"I feel OK now, but we'll see on Tuesday how much the break helped," Ogando said through a translator. "I felt good at the All-Star Game. I'll have to wait and see how I feel."

Ogando threw a bullpen session Saturday and said he had no issues (Mark Lowe, standing beside Ogando, deadpanned that Ogando didn't allow any hits). His manager isn't expecting any issues.

"I expect the same thing we've been seeing," Washington said. "I didn't see any fatigue in the All-Star Game. I expect him to come out and pitch like he always pitches."

Washington said the plan is to give Ogando the ball every fifth turn in the rotation. There are no special plans to curb his innings at this point. We'll have more on Ogando as we get closer to Tuesday's game.

Other notes:

* Rangers utility infielder Andres Blanco has still not taken any swings as he continues to recover from a stress reaction in his lower back.

Blanco, who is eligible to return July 22, is expected to take swings with a fungo on Tuesday. After that, he'll need to take some regular swings and participate in batting practice before going out for a rehab assignment. Washington said the other day that he also wants to see Blanco run the bases. So the infielder still has some work to do.

* Washington said the plan remains to put Craig Gentry in against lefties and Endy Chavez against right-handers, though there are cleary exceptions. Chavez has played well and Washington is comfortable with either player on defense in center field.

* Mike Napoli is in the lineup at catcher today and he will get a chance to play against his former team this week. The Rangers face three right-handed pitchers in Anaheim, but they do have a day game on Thursday following Wednesday's night game, which is usually a time to use a different catcher in each game.

Rangers make roster move

July, 8, 2011
7/08/11
6:14
PM CT
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers made a few roster moves before Friday night's game against the Oakland A's.

The club placed infielder Andres Blanco on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Thursday with a stress reaction in his lower back. He's been getting treatment for it for about a week.

Infielder Omar Quintanilla was moved from Triple-A Round Rock to the big club to replace Blanco. Quintanilla, 29, who played college ball at Texas, hit .298 in 51 games for Round Rock.

To make room on the 40-man roster, the Rangers moved right-handed starter Scott Feldman from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL. Feldman, who is recovering from knee surgery, didn't have a setback in rehab, but the move was procedural more than anything.

Also, relief pitcher Dave Bush cleared waivers and is now a free agent.

Alexi Ogando's struggles continue

June, 25, 2011
6/25/11
7:39
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Alexi Ogando says he’s not tired. He says he’s simply not putting the ball where he needs to as consistently as he was prior to his last three starts.

Whatever the reason, the right-hander has gone from high All-Star Game consideration to likely being left off the roster. And if the struggles continue in a starting role, the questions about whether he should return to the bullpen when Tommy Hunter or Scott Feldman are ready will start to get asked more frequently.

Right now, the Rangers don’t have any options in that area. It’s too early to consider it anyway. As manager Ron Washington noted: A pitcher gets 30 starts and we’re talking about only three of them.

But his last trio of starts has been in stark contrast to his first 12.

Ogando started the season 7-0 and had a 2.10 ERA after his solid start against Detroit on June 8. Then, he had the second-best ERA in the American League and the attention of the league. But he lasted just 1 2/3 innings in Yankee Stadium, giving up a season-high six runs in his first start that didn’t last at least six innings. He went to Atlanta and needed an IV to combat dehydration after his five-inning, 104-pitch start in the heat.

Saturday was the latest in a string of disappointing outings. He gave up three runs in the first inning and never really recovered, getting into more trouble in the third. Ogando was taken out after the third inning. He allowed six runs on a career-high eight hits. His fastball was up and his velocity down a bit in the first few innings. Ogando did get ramped up to his usual 94-mph range in the third and even found the zone some with his off-speed stuff, but with no reliable fastball he couldn’t pitch around trouble.

So in his last three starts, Ogando is 0-3 with a 9.31 ERA.

Despite throwing more innings this season (89) than his major and minor league innings combined in 2010, Ogando insists he’s not fighting fatigue.

“I feel strong,” Ogando said through a translator. “I don’t feel weak or that I’m losing my strength. I have had three bad outings, but I don’t think that’s the reason. Physically, I think I’m OK.”

Too many fastballs up in the zone led to Mets hits from the start of the game, and Ogando wasn’t able to find his command. It was that ability to move the fastball to either side of the plate and complement it with the off-speed stuff that made him so effective the first two-plus months of the season.

Ogando’s youth was also on display in the third inning. With two on and no outs, Daniel Murphy hit a hard bouncer back to the mound. Ogando gloved it and threw to Adrian Beltre at third.

“You like for him to go to second there and get the double-play,” manager Ron Washington said.

Ogando said he just reacted and made a mistake.

“I had talked to Andres Blanco about throwing it to the shortstop and then I threw it to third,” Ogando said.

Ogando’s catcher sees a pitcher putting too much pressure on himself.

“I think he’s overthrowing out there,” catcher Yorvit Torrealba said. “It’s more about location than anything else. He’ll be just fine. He’s trying too hard. It happened to me offensively, you have to step back and relax.”

That’s what Ogando will try to do in his next start, likely Friday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington against the Marlins.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Colby Lewis
WINS ERA SO IP
10 5.18 133 170
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .324
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182