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Alexi Ogando continues ownership of Tigers

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DETROIT - AUGUST 04: Nelson Cruz #17 of the Texas Rangers scores on a fielder choice in the third inning during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on August 4, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
DETROIT - AUGUST 04: Nelson Cruz #17 of the Texas Rangers scores on a fielder choice in the third inning during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on August 4, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
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Final - 8.4.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Texas Rangers 0 1 0 3 0 0 1 0 0 5 11 0
Detroit Tigers 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 9 1
WP: Alexi Ogando (11 - 5)
SV: Neftali Feliz (22)
LP: Brad Penny (7 - 9)

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BOX

KEY STAT

3-0. The Rangers' apparent ace Alexi Ogando allowed Detroit three runs in three starts against them, beating them every time. The two runs scored today were Detroit's best effort to date.

KEY PLAY

Key? Probably not. But it accounted for an early run for Texas.

Detroit had the opportunity to turn a triple play in the second inning. After a run down between first and second to get the second out, Nelson Cruz scored when Victor Martinez dropped the ball on Don Kelly's throw home.

This marks the second time in four games the Tigers allowed the runner from third to score after catching him in the run down. Detroit might want to practice that a tad more, no? I mean, it's only August.

KEY THOUGHTS

A lot was said about Jim Leyland's lineup before the game., Some thought it was just reward for Brad Penny, all but assuring him the loss for messing with Victor Martinez during his last start. Some thought you could see the reasoning behind Leyland's decision but it just wasn't going to work.

Put me in the latter group. I was most certainly not a fan of the lineup. But when you look at Alexi Ogando's splits, and when you considered the Tigers are playing a day game after a night game, you could assume that Leyland's thought process wasn't horrible. He probably wanted to rest Magglio Ordonez and knew Ogando is tough on righties. He also knew Austin Jackson isn't hitting well and Ogando would roll him up. Alex Avila caught last night and he'll probably catch the entire weekend, so he had a seat. None of that explains why Don Kelly batted second, but whatever.

It was going to be a tough game for Detroit no matter what, and Ogando did not disappoint. He did allow eight hits in less than seven innings. But for the first six innings or so it was hard to picture the Tigers actually scoring a run off him without some sort of fluke. Only in the seventh did they start to string some hits together and score their two runs. (By the way, those runs came off the bats of Wilson Betemit and Ryan Raburn. (Raburn's defense in right field? Eh, you know what to expect. He didn't disappoint).)

Interesting to note that Brad Penny is starting to amp up his velocity a bit. He averaged 94.9 mph with a pitch that peaked at 97.3. I counted 15 pitches that were 96 mph or faster. He also gave up 11 hits and 3 walks. The two are probably not related, as the Rangers weren't hitting it especially hard. Mainly they were hitting it especially often -- Penny had no strikeouts -- and the ball found the ample holes in the Tigers' defense.

But you have to be happy taking two of three. The Rangers are a good club. The Tigers hit the road for a weekend series in Kansas City.