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April 03, 2013

Rangers 4, Astros 0 (F)

HOUSTON -- Alexi Ogando struck out a career-high 10 in 6 1/3 scoreless innings Wednesday, and Lance Berkman's RBI double sparked a three-run eighth that lifted the Rangers to a 4-0 victory and a series win over the Astros.

Rangers pitchers struck out 43 batters in the series to set a major-league record for the most by a team in its first three games. Joe Nathan struck out the side in the ninth to get the mark.

The Rangers did just enough at the plate against Astros starter Philip Humber, who allowed only one run in 5 2/3 innings. It came in the sixth, which the Rangers started with a walk by Lance Berkman and singles by Adrian Beltre and David Cruz.

Nelson Cruz followed and broke his bat as he hit into a double play. Berkman, though, crossed home to break the scoreless tie.

Elvis Andrus got the eighth-inning rally started with a single to left, and Berkman followed with an opposite-field gapper to left-center. Nelson Cruz singled two batters later to drive in pinch-runner Julio Borbon, and Adrian Beltre scored when A.J. Pierzynski followed with a sacrifice fly.

Ogando gave up a double to the first batter he faced, Jose Altuve, but left him at third after ending the first with strikeouts of Carlos Pena and Chris Carter. Ogando gave up three singles and a walk the rest of the way.

Robbie Ross, Tanner Scheppers, Michael Kirkman and Nathan finished off the Rangers' second straight shutout.

-- Jeff Wilson

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