This is small beans compared to Adrian Beltre's three home runs, but Ron Washington seems to have discovered a secret weapon in this Division Series: Alexi Ogando, Ace Reliever.
Or perhaps "rediscovered" is the more accurate word, since Ogando was an ace reliever just one year ago. Joining the Rangers in June 2010, Ogando posted a 1.30 ERA the rest of the way, and ultimately dazzled the Giants in two World Series outings.
Of course, this season Ogando earned a spot in the Rangers' rotation. But he faltered some down the stretch and the Rangers have five worthy starting pitchers, so now he's in the bullpen. And in Game 4 today, he assumed the eighth-inning role usually filled by Mike Adams, who instead pitched the seventh.
In 2⅔ innings against the Rays, Ogando's been nearly perfect. And if he's back to his old form, the Rangers now have three lights-out relievers for the late innings, each capable of going at least one full inning almost every game.
Meanwhile, the Rays held the Rangers in check in the top of the ninth. Now it's Neftali Feliz's turn, as he tries to protect a two-run lead and send the Rangers to the Championship Series.
After 8½ innings it's Rangers 4, Rays 2.