video thumbnail

TEX@OAK: Ogando fans four over 1 2/3 scoreless frames

Alexi Ogando is temporarily returning to the rotation.

With Derek Holland on the disabled list, the Rangers right-hander will make his first start of the season in Sunday's series finale against the Giants and right-hander Tim Lincecum.

Ogando, who has made 27 relief appearances this season, is 13-8 with a 3.56 ERA in 29 career starts. The 28-year-old was a starter for Texas in 2011, but moved to the bullpen this year. He hasn't thrown more than 39 pitches in an outing this season, but Rangers manager Ron Washington said he's hopeful Ogando will be able to put forth a solid effort.

"I think he'll be able to get us at least 60 pitches," Washington said. "A lot will depend on how many quick outs he gets. If he gets some quick outs early, he could get us five or six innings."

Ogando has been bringing the heat as of late. His fastball averages 96.7 miles per hour, but lately he has been at 98-100 mph. Although increased velocity helps in late-inning situations, it can tire a starter -- especially someone like Ogando who isn't conditioned to throw a lot of pitches.

Washington said Ogando will have to tone it down Sunday.

"He's got to back off if he's going to be a starter," Washington said. "He can't be going that hard. A fastball at 97-98 is good if you need it but 93-94 is good. Mix in the slider and changeup. If he's throwing 97-98, he's not going to stay out there long."

Ogando and the Rangers face Lincecum, who hasn't necessarily looked like the pitcher they saw two years ago in the World Series. Lincecum hasn't won since April 28, has tossed only one quality start in that span and has lost his last four decisions -- one short of his career high of five set in August 2010.

But, he's close. Lincecum once again had one bad inning his last time out against the Padres -- a four-run second -- before allowing just one hit and eight strikeouts in the next four innings.

"That's the best I've seen him throw this year," Giants infielder Ryan Theriot said afterward.

Rangers: Cruz to be re-evaluated
Outfielder Nelson Cruz left Saturday's game with a sore right Achilles tendon. The Rangers took him out as a precautionary measure. He will be re-evaluated Sunday.

• Texas is 4-5 on its 10-game, 10-day road trip to Anaheim, Oakland and San Francisco that concludes Sunday.

Giants: Power drought continues
Despite scoring five runs Saturday, the Giants have not homered at AT&T Park since Gregor Blanco went deep May 14. The drought now is at 21 games, 477 at-bats and 127 innings.

• Prior to Saturday's game, right-hander Steve Edlefsen was optioned to Triple-A Fresno, while righty George Kontos was recalled from Fresno. Infielder Brett Pill also was optioned to Fresno to make room for Pablo Sandoval, who was reinstated from the disabled list.

Worth noting
• The Giants have won 10 of their last 13 games.

MLB.com Comments