ARLINGTON, Texas -- Alexi Ogando broke a personal three-game losing streak with an excellent start and the Rangers had big hits from Michael Young, Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton in a 7-4 win over Cleveland before 44,242 on a fall-like Thursday evening at Rangers Ballpark.
Texas increased its lead in the AL West to 3 1/2 games over the idle Angels
Ogando (13-8) cleared a big hurdle when he escaped a bases-loaded jam in the second inning without allowing a run.
It marked the first time in seven starts that he did not allow at least one run in the second inning. But it wasn't easy. Ogando had to throw 39 pitches.
With the big crowd urging him on, Ogando got swinging strikes on Lonnie Chisenall and Lou Marson to end the threat.
From there, it was a breeze for the 27-year-old right-hander. He retired 13 of the final 14 hitters he faced in six scoreless innings, allowing only two hits and two walks. Eliminate the second inning and Ogando needed only 53 pitches for his other five innings.
*Michael Young is not going to relinquish his cleanup spot to Adrian Beltre or anybody else without making it difficult for Ron Washington. Young lined a three-run double in the fifth inning to turn a 1-0 lead to 4-0. The clutch hit followed an intentional walk to Josh Hamilton. The three RBIs upped Young’s total to 101 for the season, the second time he has gone over 100 in a season. His career high is 103 in 2006.
*Beltre, a potential cleanup hitter, extended his career-high hitting streak to 19 games with a home run over the Rangers’ bullpen to cap the five-run outburst in the fifth inning. Beltre’s 25th home run of the season with Young aboard traveled an estimated 419 feet.
*Endy Chavez was an instigator on Thursday. Chavez broke an 0-for-13 with a leadoff single in the third inning and scored the game’s first run. Chavez stole second and moved to third on an errant throw by catcher Lou Marson and scored on Elvis Andrus’ single through a drawn-in infield. Chavez added a leadoff infield hit to ignite a five-run fifth inning. He added another steal of second. Chavez also contributed the defensive play of the night when he raced to the wall to run down a 400-foot blast by the second batter of the game, Jason Kipnis. Chavez made the catch one step before hitting in the padded wall.
*Ogando helped himself with quick reaction, knocking down a line drive off the bat of Jason Donald leading off the second inning and recovering in time to get him easily at first.
*Elvis Andrus drove in his 58th run of the year with a third-inning single to left. He extended his hitting streak to nine games. His 21 RBIs against Cleveland are his high against any opponent and he has driven in at least one run in nine of 10 games against Cleveland this season. Andrus put down a sacrifice bunt in the fifth to set to stage for a big inning.
*Ian Kinsler ended the sixth inning with a double-play that for the second straight night that began with a tag of the runner coming down from first. Kinsler took a walk in the fifth and scored the Rangers’ third run.
*Of some concern is the fact that none of the three Rangers relievers could get through clean innings. Darren Oliver and Mike Adams were touched for one run and Neftali Feliz allowed two in the ninth.
*Josh Hamilton put some icing on the cake with a solo home run leading off the seventh to right-center at an estimated 411 feet. It was Hamilton’s 22nd homer of the season and the third straight game that he has left the yard.