With the addition of Matt Garza and the return of another two key starters, the Texas Rangers rotation is running at full power.
Set up for another run at the postseason, the Rangers turn to Alexi Ogando on Tuesday night for the second contest of a four-game series against the New York Yankees.
Ogando is expected to make his first start for the Rangers tonight since June 5, having landed on the disabled list due to right shoulder inflammation. He has allowed three earned runs or fewer in nine of his 10 starts this season, going 4-2 with a 2.93 earned run average.
The right-hander made three rehab starts with Triple-A Round Rock, the most recent coming last Thursday. He hurled 80 pitches and allowed two runs on three hits over seven innings.
"I feel more comfortable, more powerful," Ogando told Texas' website afterwards. "I'm ready to go."
Ogando, 29, has a 10.03 ERA over eight previous meetings with the Yankees, making two starts, with a record of 1-1.
Ogando's expected outing comes one day after the Rangers activated Yu Darvish off the DL and acquired Garza from the Chicago Cubs for infielder Mike Olt and pitchers Justin Grimm and C.J. Edwards as well as a player to be named later.
"I'm really excited about adding him to what's been the strength of the club -- our pitching staff," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said of Garza, who went 6-1 with a 3.17 ERA in 11 starts this year with Cubs, having missed the start of the season due to a strained left lat.
Garza is expected to join the Rangers on Tuesday and could make his debut with the club on Wednesday.
"He's an extremely talented pitcher that has had success in the toughest of divisions and the biggest stages, who is throwing the ball as well as anybody right now," Daniels said. "It's a power repertoire, a little bit of a different look from what we've got."
What the Rangers also got on Monday was a solid outing from Darvish, who held the Yankees to a pair of hits -- both to Lyle Overbay -- over 6 1/3 innings of work.
Texas snapped a four-game slide with just its second victory in nine games. The club sits three games behind Oakland for first place in the AL West.
New York, on the other hand, has lost five of its past six and sits seven games behind Boston for the top spot in the AL East.
Yankees starter Ivan Nova gave up all three of his runs with two outs over a seven-inning outing.
"I don't really like it. Even though it was only three runs, I didn't throw enough strikes," said Nova. "I couldn't command my curveball really good today. My fastball was off."
New York second baseman Robinson Cano had his hitting streak snapped at 12 games, while Ichiro Suzuki had his team's third hit of the game.
The Yankees' struggling offense has not given Phil Hughes much help as of late and the righty takes the hill tonight hoping to avoid a third straight loss.
Hughes has lost five of his past six starts, with New York held to a pair of runs or fewer in each of the setbacks. He lost a 4-1 decision last time out versus Minnesota on July 13, striking out 10 over 7 1/3 innings. However, Hughes also allowed four runs as three of the five hits he yielded were homers.
"You're gonna find times where you're in close games and you just got to bear down and make pitches," Hughes said.
The 27-year-old fell to 4-9 with a 4.57 ERA in 18 starts this season and that includes a tough-luck loss to the Rangers on June 27. In that 2-0 defeat, he gave up both runs over eight innings.
Hughes is 2-2 lifetime versus the Rangers with a 2.08 ERA in five meetings (4 starts).
The Rangers took two of three from the Yankees in the Bronx back in June.