Rangers 4, Astros 0: Alexi Ogando recorded a career-high 10 strikeouts as visiting Texas continued its recent dominance over in-state rival Houston.
Ogando (1-0), who made only one three-inning start last season, followed up Yu Darvish’s near perfect game Tuesday with a gem of his own, yielding four hits and a walk over 6 1/3 innings. Four relievers combined to strike out five Astros to finish the shutout.
Philip Humber (0-1) allowed a run and five hits over 5 2/3 innings in his first start for Houston after the former Rice University star was acquired off waivers last November.
Lance Berkman ended the scoreless draw when he scored on Nelson Cruz's double-play groundout in the sixth, but the Rangers finally broke it open with a three-run eighth after Elvis Andrus singled and Berkman plated him with an RBI double. Three batters later, Cruz added a run-scoring single and A.J. Pierzynski was awarded a sacrifice fly when Houston’s Chris Carter dropped his fly ball in left field.
Jose Altuve led off the bottom of the first with a double and advanced to third on a groundout, but Ogando avoided the Astros’ best scoring threat by striking out Carlos Pena and Carter to end the inning. Ogando did not allow another extra-base hit and tallied two strikeouts in three of the next four innings before departing in the seventh following Justin Maxwell’s one-out single.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Texas has not lost a series to Houston since dropping two of three from June 24-26, 2008. The Rangers are 21-7 against their in-state rivals since. … Texas’ pitchers struck out 43 Astros in the three-game set. … Houston suffered consecutive shutouts for the first time since July 2-3, 2010, against San Diego.