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CLE@TEX: Ogando holds Tribe scoreless over six frames

ARLINGTON -- If only for one start, Alexi Ogando showed the form he exhibited in April and May in Thursday's 7-4 win against the Indians at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

And with the Angels idle, Texas expanded its lead in the American League West to 3 1/2 games with 12 games left to play.

Ogando, who started the season 7-0 with a 2.10 ERA, posted a robust pitching line of six shutout innings, two hits and two walks, but that line obscures how tenuous the start was.

One of those hits and both of those walks came in the second inning, when Ogando loaded the bases. After the game, Rangers manager Ron Washington admitted that Ogando came one hit away from being yanked in the second inning. But Ogando responded by striking out Lonnie Chisenhall and Lou Marson to end the threat.

"Competitive juices," Washington said of what Ogando showed in getting out of the jam. "He was in trouble, and he worked his way out of it. From that point on, he threw up four pretty good innings. Five, the first inning was pretty good, too. He just had a rough second, and after that, Mike [Napoli, catcher] did a good job of making him use his pitches and started pounding the strike zone."

Up until those two strikeouts, Ogando showed mostly the ordinary form that has earned him a 2-5 record in his last 10 starts. Afterward, he seemed rejuvenated as he faced the minimum over the following four innings he pitched.

"After he got out of that inning, the next inning he came in and he was pretty much shutout," Napoli said. "It was awesome. He knows he's good. He has confidence, and he figured it out."

Whereas Ogando was able to get out of his bases-loaded jam, Indians starter Fausto Carmona wasn't as lucky.

With runners on second and third and one out in the fifth inning, Indians manager Manny Acta elected to walk Josh Hamilton in order to face Michael Young with a double-play possibility.

"[Carmona] had been throwing really well early in the game, so at that point we were just trying to get one run across," Young said. "My at-bat, I was trying to get something to the outfield. Worst-case scenario, sacrifice fly scores a run."

Young certainly made it to the outfield, as he smashed the first pitch he saw over left fielder Shelley Duncan for a bases-clearing double, which extended Texas' lead to 4-0.

"It's like any team that has depth," Washington said. "Pick your poison. I think any manager would have done what he did and not pitched to Josh. But he had to deal with Michael, had to deal with [Adrian] Beltre and Napoli."

The double was Young's 40th of the season, and drove in runs 99 through 101. This is the second season of Young's career in which he has driven in 100 runs.

"It doesn't mean too much for me right now," Young said. "I'll look back at it when the season's over and be happy about it. Anytime you're talking about runs and RBIs, it's more a reflection of the team, the guys I'm knocking in. They'd say the same thing about the guys knocking them in."

Young has been the lone constant for the Rangers all season, as he has found ways to contribute in the heart of the lineup that has missed Hamilton, Beltre, Napoli and Nelson Cruz at various times. Young is three hits shy of his sixth career 200-hit season.

"What a year," Washington said. "It doesn't matter where I put him in the lineup, he delivers. We needed him to step up in the fourth spot when Beltre was down, and he didn't miss a beat. He stepped up and kept doing what he does. Didn't change his approach, didn't change his style."

Beltre chimed in on the next at-bat of the fifth with an opposite-field home run to extend his career-high hitting streak to 19 games and blow the game open.

Hamilton added a solo homer in the seventh, going yard for his third consecutive game, while the Indians put together a late-inning rally effort, scoring four runs -- two in the ninth against Neftali Feliz, who ended the threat with consecutive strikeouts.

The Rangers completed their second sweep of the season against the Indians, finishing 9-1 against Cleveland this year. For the 10 games, the Rangers won by a combined score of 68-32, with three games decided by five runs or more.

"They overmatched us," Acta said. "Other than that series [from Aug. 5-8], when we had a chance to win the series, we were in every game, they just kind of outplayed us the whole time." Comments