The Texas Rangers went to Anaheim, California, to meet the Los Angeles Angels, who are virtually the only team they have to defeat for the AL West division title, for a “critical” series. They headed into the game with 11 straight wins and four games ahead of the Angels in the AL West. Then, they left the game with 12 straight wins and five games ahead of the Angels in the AL West.
Ogando Dominated the Mound
All-around, it was a fantastic game. Alexi Ogando, who started the season off very well after turning into a starter from a reliever and just made his first appearance as a starter in the 2011 All-Star Game, showed that he has exactly what it takes to stay in the starting rotation proving to the Rangers as well as everyone else that he deserves the spot that he has been given.
Ogando pitched perfectly in the first two innings of the game, but in the third, he allowed a lead-off double to Mark Trumbo, the first baseman for the Angels. He continued to struggle throughout the third inning giving up a walk to Torii Hunter. With two out and runners on both first and second, it was a scary inning and I wasn’t sure if Ogando would get that third out before the Angels scored. He went full count to Bobby Abreu but the third inning ended after the right-hander threw a hard chopper to first base that was well handled by first baseman Mitch Moreland.
Ogando went on to face 17 straight batters over the next five innings. He pitched eight innings total, striking out five, allowing three walks while holding the Angels to just four hits and no runs while helping the Rangers reach their 12th straight win, which is a season best and second longest in franchise history and a win that gave them a five-game lead ahead of their division rival. The Rangers are just two games away from matching their franchise record of a 14 game winning streak in 1991 but to reach that, they’ll need to win the next two games against the Angels.
Ogando now has 10 wins for the season, which ties him with tomorrow’s starting lefty C.J. Wilson. This allowed the Rangers to join the Phillies, Diamondbacks, Tigers and Angels in being the only Major League teams with two pitchers that have victories in the double-digits.
Angels Missed Out on Napoli
The Angels were shown exactly what they don’t have any more as Mike Napoli helped the Rangers get their win. Napoli got two walks when the bases were empty with two outs in the inning. Napoli got a full-count, two-out walk in the fourth inning from Tyler Chatwood. Endy Chavez came up and singled for Napoli to go to third. Ian Kinsler came up and got a single out to right bringing Mike home giving the Rangers a 2-0 lead. Then, Napoli got another two-out walk but from relief pitcher Michael Kohn in the eighth inning. Chavez came behind him and hit that ball into the stands for an eighth inning 5-0 lead.
Napoli didn’t just walk, though, against his former Major League team – he also had a single and a double in the second and sixth innings respectively.
Ninth Inning Back-to-Back Homers
Not as if they needed some insurance with a 5-0 lead heading into the ninth inning, there were still two homers hit back-to-back in the ninth just in case giving a 7-0 lead, which eventually won the game. Adrian Beltre got his 20th homer of the season marking his ninth season of his career to have 20 homers. Josh Hamilton then got his 13th home run of the year.
We’ve Got Game, How About You?
The Rangers are definitely contenders this year for the AL West title and have shown that with dominance in pitching, defensive and offense aspects all year. They showed the Angels that they aren’t giving up easily and they will fight to the finish without backing down one bit. Even if the Rangers lose the next two games, which I don’t think that they will as hot as they are right now in every aspect of the ballgame, I am still proud of the shut out from last night.
Check back for the preview for tonight’s game later this afternoon. Feel free to let us know your favorite part of last night’s game and anything else Rangers-related you’d like to share.