The Rangers will try and cool off the surging Houston Astros when they open a three-game series at Minute Maid Park on Friday night. Rangers right-hander Alexi Ogando will face Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel at 7:10 p.m. on Ch. 21 and ESPN-FM 103.3 and 1540-AM.
Ogando (3-2, 3.08): Ogando comes in off a win against Boston, allowing a run in six innings ... It snapped a stretch of four straight starts without a win for Ogando ... Ogando has dealt with very little run support as the Rangers are averaging 2.84 runs for his starts, fifth lowest in the American League ... He's received 12 runs in 38 innings pitched ... Ogando sparkled in his first start of the season at Houston, striking out 10 Astros ... He hasn't fanned more than five in five straight starts ... Ogando combined with four relievers for a five-hit shutout in a win over the Astros on April 3 ... The 10 strikeouts in that game were a career high ... Ogando is 1-0 with 0.96 ERA for three appearances against Houston ... Ogando's fastball command improved in his last start against the Red Sox and he walked only two batters and didn't give up a home run.
Keuchel (0-1, 4.96): Keuchel makes his first start after six relief appearances to begin the season ... Keuchel has made six relief appearances, two since being recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City last week ... He's allowed five runs in 5 2/3 innings since returning to the Astros, including four runs in 4 1/3 innings to Detroit on May 2 ... Opponents are hitting .319 against Keuchel ... He has made one start in his career and that came last June against the Rangers when he gave up a run in five innings ... Keuchel allowed only four hits but also had four walks ... Keuchel wants to be a starter and he made 16 of them last season going 3-8 with a 5.27 ERA ... Keuchel is not a hard thrower, but he does have a good change-up that he keeps down in the strike zone.
Hitters: The Rangers that faced Keuchel last year were 4 for 14 against him. Jose Altuve is 1-for-4 with a double against Ogando.