Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - Alexi Ogando pitched into the eighth and got plenty of help from his offense to stay perfect on the season, as the Rangers avoided a three-game sweep at the hands of the Tigers with a 7-3 victory.
Ogando (7-0) gave up one run — Don Kelly’s homer — and six hits while striking out seven and walking two in 7 2/3 innings. The righty became the first pitcher to win his first seven career decisions as a starter since the Angels’ Jered Weaver began the 2006 campaign with a 9-0 record.
Adrian Beltre went 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI, Elvis Andrus added three hits, a run scored and another driven in and Josh Hamilton hit a two- run double for Texas, which had won five in a row before dropping the first two in the series.
Detroit starter Phil Coke (1-6) surrendered six runs — four earned — on 10 hits and three walks in his first start off the disabled list.
The Tigers had won eight of nine coming in and totaled 38 hits over the first two games of the series. They appeared on their way to another big offensive showing in the first inning when Kelly took Ogando deep down the right-field line for his first home run of the season.
But Ogando settled down from there, and the Rangers’ offense came to life with four runs in the third, thanks in part to an error by Kelly.
Three straight one-out singles loaded the bases for Craig Gentry, who sent a ground ball to third. Kelly charged in and airmailed the throw home, allowing two runs to score.
Hamilton followed with a double down the right-field line to plate a pair, and run-scoring singles by Andrus and Beltre in the fourth and fifth inning, respectively, made it 6-1.
Beltre led off the seventh with a blast off the left-field foul pole, and the Rangers held on despite Austin Jackson and Kelly each driving in a run in the ninth.
Prior to the game, the Rangers fired hitting coach Thad Bosley and named Triple-A hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh to the position. They also placed second baseman Ian Kinsler on the paternity leave list…The Rangers and Blue Jays are the only teams that have yet to get swept this season…Ogando extended his club record for most consecutive starts without a loss to begin a career as a starter and also joined Bert Blyleven as the only right-handed pitchers in Texas history to last at least six frames in their first 12 starts to begin a season. The last pitcher with at least six innings in his first 12 career starts was Arizona’s Brandon Webb in 2003…The Rangers haven’t been swept in a three-game set at home by the Tigers since May 1-3, 2001…Coke missed the last two weeks with a bone bruise in his foot.