(Sports Network) - Alexi Ogando tries to continue his brilliant start to the
season on Saturday when the Texas Rangers resume a four-game set against the
Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
Ogando has been tremendous in his return to the rotation, as he has won both
of his starts, while allowing just one run in 11 2/3 innings (0.77 ERA). After
twirling 6 1/3 scoreless innings to win his season debut, Ogando yielded just
a run and three hits in 5 1/3 innings to beat Tampa Bay on Monday.
Seattle will counter with veteran left-hander Joe Saunders, who is 1-1 with a
3.48 ERA. Saunders bounced back from a loss in his first start and tossed 6
1/3 scoreless innings to beat the Houston Astros on Monday.
"I felt good," said Saunders. "My command was better. I was able to feel the
ball better. It was just a matter of telling yourself, 'Hey, we've got a lot
of fans in the stands tonight. Go out and put on a decent show and turn it
into a win.'"
Saunders is now 7-0 with a 1.91 ERA in 10 starts in Seattle.
However, he has struggled against the Rangers over the course of his career,
posting a 3-7 mark to go along with a 6.48 ERA in 11 starts.
Seattle evened this series at a game apiece on Friday, as Hisashi Iwakuma
pitched 6 2/3 innings on his 32nd birthday to help the Mariners to a 3-1 win.
Iwakuma (2-0) gave up one run on three hits with a walk and six strikeouts,
while Kyle Seager drove in two runs for the Mariners, who snapped a three-game
"The way he commanded every pitch to both sides of the plate was pretty
special," said Seattle catcher Kelly Shoppach about Iwakuma. "He really did
keep them off balance. The way he threw the ball tonight was just really
impressive, I'm just really happy for him, on his birthday, it was pretty
Yu Darvish (2-1) got the loss after giving up three runs on three hits with a
walk and eight strikeouts over six innings for the Rangers, who took a 4-3 win
in the series opener on Thursday. Ian Kinsler's home run accounted for the
lone run for the team.
"He struggled with his command, mainly of the fastball, but after that first
inning he settled in and put up five zeros, he just had trouble getting
started early," said Texas manager Ron Washington about Darvish.
Texas was 10-9 against the Mariners last season.
The Sports Network