A day after watching Yu Darvish come within one out of a perfect game, Alexi Ogando was determined to pitch well to help the Texas Rangers wrap up the three-game series against host Houston with a win.
Ogando got things started well and four Texas relievers finished it off to shut out the Astros again, combining for a five-hitter in the Rangers’ 4-0 win over the Astros on Wednesday.
‘‘It was a spectacular game, and it certainly motivated me to pitch well today,’’ Ogando said in Spanish through a translator.
Lance Berkman doubled in a run for the Rangers a day after they blanked Houston, 7-0, behind Darvish’s nearly historic gem.
Ogando (1-0) allowed four hits with a career-high 10 strikeouts in 6⅓ innings. The young and inexperienced Astros have struck out 43 times in their first three games.
‘‘Ogando is known for striking folks out,’’ Texas manager Ron Washington said. ‘‘He had a good fastball, he has a tremendous slider, and now he’s got a changeup and a curveball to go with all of that.’’
It’s the most strikeouts a pitching staff has combined for in the first three games of a season in major league history, and the most since Cleveland fanned 42 in the first three of the 1966 season.
‘‘Yesterday, it was more about their guy, and today it was more about our guys,’’ Houston manager Bo Porter said when asked about the strikeouts. ‘‘We just had our guys expanding the zone way too often. We need to make an adjustment and do a better job.’’
White Sox 5, Royals 2 — Adam Dunn homered and Chicago went deep four times to back a solid start by Jake Peavy in a home victory over Kansas City.
Tyler Flowers, Dayan Viciedo, and Alexi Ramirez also connected, and the White Sox made it two straight wins to start the season after dropping 12 of 18 to Kansas City a year ago.
Twins 3, Tigers 2 — Eduardo Escobar’s two-run double with one out in the ninth inning lifted host Minnesota over Detroit.
After Tigers starter Joaquin Benoit issued a leadoff walk to Trevor Plouffe, reliever Phil Coke took over. Coke got the first out, but Brian Dozier’s single advanced pinch runner Jamey Carroll to third. Then Escobar drove the first pitch from Coke to the deepest part of the park, in front of the bullpens in left-center field.
Indians 3, Blue Jays 2 — Mark Reynolds hit a tiebreaking home run in the 11th inning and Cleveland beat host Toronto.
Reynolds drilled a leadoff shot into the second deck off Sergio Santos (0-1), the fifth Blue Jays reliever.
Rays 8, Orioles 7 — Matt Joyce led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a towering home run against Tommy Hunter, giving Tampa Bay the victory over Baltimore in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Shelley Duncan hit a three-run homer and Ben Zobrist had a pair of RBI singles for the Rays, who twice came from behind before wasting a late two-run lead.
Giants 5, Dodgers 3 — Tim Lincecum allowed two runs, three hits and walked seven in five innings, but led San Francisco over Josh Beckett and host Los Angeles.
Beckett went six innings and allowed three runs and six hits in his season debut. He also yielded two home runs. Carl Crawford had three of the Dodgers’ seven hits.
Athletics 6, Mariners 2 — Jed Lowrie (3 for 3, 3 RBIs ) and Chris Young hit back-to-back home runs in the seventh inning, helping Tommy Milone and host Oakland top Seattle.
Nate Freiman had two hits and an RBI in his major league debut as Oakland knocked around Joe Saunders and two relievers after managing just one run and six hits in the first two games of the series.
Pirates 3, Cubs 0 — Wandy Rodriguez allowed just two hits over 6⅔ innings and host Pittsburgh edged Chicago for its first win of the year.
Braves 9, Phillies 2 — Freddie Freeman had three RBIs and Justin Upton homered to back Paul Maholm’s solid start, helping Atlanta beat visiting Philadelphia.
The game was played in a steady drizzle, but the conditions hardly affected Maholm (1-0), who gave up six hits in 5⅔ scoreless innings. He struck out six.
Nationals 3, Marlins 0 — Lefthander Gio Gonzalez homered, providing all the offense necessary to back his six scoreless innings, and host Washington beat Miami.
Gonzalez (1-0), a 21-game winner in 2012 who finished third in NL Cy Young Award voting, allowed only two hits, along with five strikeouts and two walks.
Rockies 7, Brewers 3 — Juan Nicasio pitched six effective innings for his first victory in almost a year while Wilin Rosario, Michael Cuddyer and Dexter Fowler homered to lift visiting Colorado. to victory in Milwaukee.
Reds 5, Angels 4 — Brandon Phillips hit a three-run homer in his new role as Cincinnati’s cleanup hitter, and Joey Votto drove in the winning run with a ninth-inning single, rallying the host Reds.