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TEX@SEA: Ogando strikes out five over five strong

This isn't how Jason Vargas envisioned starting his career with the Angels.

In his first three outings with the Halos, Vargas has combined to give up 11 runs on 27 hits, a stretch in which he's gone 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA.

Against the Twins last Tuesday, he needed 90 pitches to get through just 3 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on nine hits in the loss.

He'll try to secure his first win with the Angels on Tuesday night when they square off against the rival Rangers at Angel Stadium.

While the matchup between the two American League West foes has heated up within the past year, Angels manager Mike Scioscia isn't putting too much emphasis on the series.

"You really can't do anything but take that one game that comes on the schedule and treat it as the most important game of the year and go out and play it," Scioscia said. "You need to bring your game onto the field every night, so to put more importance on one game or another really is counterproductive to what you need to do as a team."

Meanwhile, the Rangers are counting on Alexi Ogando to bounce back after allowing five runs in 2 1/3 innings of work against the Cubs on Thursday.

"I certainly don't expect him to give us 2 1/3 innings," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "If he gives us 2 1/3 innings, I'm going to take my belt off, put him across my lap and give him a spanking."

The Rangers would like for Ogando to show better command of his fastball, something he's struggled with through his first four starts.

"I'm just focused on getting my control back and pitching better," Ogando said. "I didn't change anything. I've just been working on my mechanical issues. The fastball command doesn't concern me that much. It's something that goes away sometimes. You just have to keep working and trust your stuff that it will come back."

Rangers: Team struggles vs. Vargas
• David Murphy is 1-for-18 against Vargas and Mitch Moreland is 1-for-11. Since both are left-handed hitters, one of them will likely sit on Tuesday so that Jeff Baker can play. Baker is a right-handed hitter who is 4-for-10 against lefties this year and Washington wants to get him more playing time against left-handers.

"I've got to try and get him at-bats where I can find them," Washington said.

Murphy's .053 batting average against Vargas is the lowest against him among all players with at least 15 plate appearances. Third baseman Adrian Beltre, who is a right-handed hitter, is 2-for-21 off Vargas for a .095 batting average.

Angels: Hanson placed on bereavement list
• Starter Tommy Hanson was placed on the bereavement list on Monday following a death in his family. To fill Hanson's spot on the roster, reliever David Carpenter was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake.

With his absence in the rotation for the time being, the Angels are leaning toward having long reliever Jerome Williams start Wednesday's series finale against Yu Darvish.

The Angels could call up someone from Triple-A to make Wednesday's start, but Scioscia feels Williams can fill in after throwing 36 pitches in three innings of relief on Sunday.

"We're going to wait and see how Jerome comes out of it, but he felt good after his outing yesterday," Scioscia said.

Worth noting
• Ogando is 3-0 with a career 1.72 ERA in three starts and 17 relief appearances against the Angels. That's the ninth-lowest ERA against the Angels for a pitcher with at least 35 innings against them and also is the lowest by any active pitcher.

• Angels reliever Kevin Jepsen hasn't picked up a baseball since landing on the disabled list on April 13 with a strain in the "quadrangular space" near his right triceps, but he said Monday that he "can definitely tell the difference" in how much better the general area feels. Comments