Hamilton, Cruz hit HRs, Ogando throws shutout
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz both homered in their return to the Texas Rangers lineup and Alexi Ogando threw a five-hitter for his first career shutout, a 4-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Monday night.
The sluggers were back in the Texas lineup together for the first time in almost six weeks. The AL West-leading Rangers had scored a combined five runs their previous four games.
Hamilton, the reigning AL MVP, got his first homer of the season when he pulled a liner over the right-field wall in the first off John Danks (0-7), who also threw a complete game. Hamilton finished 2 for 4, adding a double in the eighth.
Cruz grounded out and struck out before his two-run blast to left in the sixth that snapped his 0-for-16 slide. It was his eighth homer of the season.
Ogando (5-0) struck out six and walked three while throwing 72 of his 105 pitches for strikes.
It was the fifth shutout for the Rangers this season, and the sixth time Chicago was held without a run.
Danks, who was drafted ninth overall by Texas in 2003 and traded to Chicago three years later, had his third career complete game, first this season. The left-hander again got no run support, with the White Sox scoring only four runs for him in his five road starts this season.
Danks struck out three and walked two.
The game was played in 2 hours, 5 minutes — the shortest game at Rangers Ballpark since a 2-hour game on May 29, 2006.
Hamilton and Cruz wrapped up rehab assignments Sunday at Triple-A Round Rock, and were activated before Monday's game.
The return for Hamilton came one day short of six weeks since he broke a bone in his upper right arm trying to score with a headfirst slide April 12 at Detroit. Cruz had been out since leaving a game early May 3 at Seattle because of a strained left quadriceps.
Ogando was a setup reliever for the Rangers last season, and though he was stretched in spring training, it had been anticipated that he would pitch out of the bullpen. The Rangers had already named their rotation without Ogando the final week of spring training before Tommy Hunter got hurt.
Now Ogando has pitched at least six innings in nine consecutive starts to open the season, matching Kevin Millwood (2009) as the only Rangers pitchers in opening-day rotations to accomplish that over the past 10 seasons.
Hamilton, who was the designated hitter batting third, got a standing ovation when he was introduced in the first. He responded with his first homer of the season.
Cruz got a similar response when he led off in the second, when he grounded out.
After Adrian Beltre drew a two-out walk in the sixth, Cruz homered to left. Beltre added a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
Notes: When White Sox C A.J. Pierzynski reached into the stands to try to catch a foul ball by Beltre in the sixth inning, he found himself face-to-face with former President George W. Bush. The ball didn't hit anyone when it fell into the owner's box where Bush and his wife, Laura, sat with Rangers president Nolan Ryan and his wife, Ruth. ... PGA Tour player Vijay Singh attended the game. He missed the cut at the Colonial in Fort Worth last week and is a former champion in this week's Byron Nelson Championship in Irving.