MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- Alexi Ogando pitched six innings of one-run ball and the Texas Rangers beat Coastal Carolina 6-2 in an exhibition game on Tuesday night.
Ogando allowed three hits, walked four and struck out five hours after Texas announced he would open the year in the last spot in the rotation. The right-hander, who went 4-1 with a 1.30 ERA in 44 relief appearances with the Rangers last season, concentrated on three of his four pitches against the Division I Chanticleers, who play in the Big South conference.With teammate Julio Borbon acting as interpreter, Ogando said he had overcome the fact he was pitching against a college team."I wanted the challenge of winning," he said. "Then I realized it was something I had to pick up as the game went on, and I just started going after it again and picked up my intensity level."Josh Hamilton and Michael Young had RBI singles for Texas, which hosts Boston in its season opener on Friday.The Rangers flew from Phoenix to Myrtle Beach on Monday night."That was definitely regular-season stuff right there," Young said. "At the beginning of the season, that was fine. We were looking to get out of spring training and get out of Arizona. We got to get together with the guys a little bit on the plane and starting talking about the regular season."Texas was busy in the hours leading up to the exhibition, deciding several of the last spots on its 25-man roster. The team announced Ogando would step into the rotation in place of Tommy Hunter, who is out with a groin injury. Hunter has missed the beginning of each of the last three seasons due to injuries.The Rangers also made a couple announcements regarding the bullpen, putting right-handers Pedro Strop and Mason Tobin on the Opening Day roster.Tobin, who has never pitched above Class A and was picked up by the Rangers in the Rule 5 draft, missed consecutive seasons while undergoing three elbow surgeries."I put in two years of hard work, rehabbing, trying to get back," Tobin said. "And every time, it was like I tried to have another surgery. Now, it's all good."Infielder Chris Davis, who batted .362 this spring, and veteran pitcher Brett Tomko were sent down to Triple-A Round Rock.