Team effort: Rangers pitch in to take series

Team effort: Rangers pitch in to take series

Team effort: Rangers pitch in to take series
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Rangers pitched a shutout on Sunday and won the game. They lost an unlikely bid for a no-hitter. They also lost another starter to injury.

Alexi Ogando had to come out of the game after three innings with a strained right groin muscle and ended up being just one of four pitchers to combine on a three-hit shutout in the Rangers' 5-0 victory over the Giants on Sunday afternoon.

Rookie left-hander Robbie Ross picked up his sixth victory of the season with four scoreless innings before Mike Adams and Joe Nathan finished off the game.

"It was nice to see the pitching staff step up today," manager Ron Washington said after the Rangers took two of three from the Giants. The shutout was Texas' second in three days at AT&T Park and fifth on the season.

"This was a good game for us," catcher Mike Napoli said. "We won the series, now we can get back home and play better baseball. This was a good series win against a good pitcher."

Ogando and Ross combined on a no-hitter for 5 1/3 innings. Ogando began the game by retiring nine straight hitters, but had to leave during a two-run rally in the top of the fourth when he strained the groin muscle running the bases. He could end up on the disabled list.

Ross took over and pitched four innings, the longest by a Rangers reliever this season. He is now 6-0 with a 1.30 ERA. He also threw 45 pitches, which could put him in position to make a spot start if Ogando has to miss his next start on Saturday against the Astros.

"Ross did a great job," Washington said. "We needed him to stay in there. He was able to keep his pitch count down and get us to the back of the bullpen. He's been resilient, he's shown a lot of maturity and he's not fazed by any situation. Our player development guys did a great job of judging him at the end of Spring Training. He's lived up to what they said about him."

Ogando and Ross combined to retire 14 straight hitters before second baseman Ian Kinsler bobbled Brandon Belt's grounder for an error with two out in the fifth. The no-hit bid went into the sixth inning before Aubrey Huff doubled with one out.

"I wasn't thinking about that, I was just trying to get outs and get us back hitting again," Ross said.

"We faced a pretty good team," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "They have great pitching. Their starter was throwing 99 out there. And their left-hander did a great job. We couldn't do anything off him."

The Rangers' combined effort allowed them to beat two-time National League Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum, who has his own problems. He allowed five runs on a season-high nine hits in 51/3 innings and is now 2-7 with a 6.00 ERA.

"Lincecum kept us off-balance pretty good," first baseman Mitch Moreland said. "We were able to put some innings together and get some hits, but he was throwing well and getting ahead of hitters. We were just able to make him pay a couple of times."

The Rangers took a 1-0 lead in the third against Lincecum. Elvis Andrus tripled with one out and scored on a two-out double by Adrian Beltre.

Moreland and Craig Gentry got the Rangers started in the fourth with a pair of one-out singles. That brought up Ogando, who pushed a bunt past Lincecum and third baseman Pablo Sandoval that nobody could field. Ogando beat it out for a hit but injured his groin and had to leave the game. Matt Harrison, who started on Friday, went into pinch-run and Ian Kinsler followed with a two-run double to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead.

Gentry started another rally with a single to lead off the sixth. Ross tried to bunt him to second but the Giants were able to get the force on Gentry. Kinsler reached on an infield single and the Giants could only get a force at second when Sandoval bobbled Andrus' grounder right at him. That allowed Josh Hamilton to get to the plate and hit a double to right that brought home two more runs.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.