Texas beat Houston 4-0 and set a major-league record for strikeouts (43) by one pitching staff in its first three games of the season.

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HOUSTON — The retractable roof was closed for all three games during the Texas Rangers’ season-opening series, yet there was a steady breeze blowing through Minute Maid Park.

The air was moved frequently by Houston Astros hitters, whose bats swung through pitches at an alarming rate.

The trend continued Wednesday in a 4-0 victory in which the Rangers set a major-league record for strikeouts (43) by a pitching staff in its first three games of the season.

Alexi Ogando struck out a career-high 10 in 6-1/3 innings, and Joe Nathan struck out the side in the ninth. The Rangers broke the record of 42 strikeouts in the first three games of a season, set by a 1966 Cleveland Indians staff that included Luis Tiant and “Sudden” Sam McDowell.

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The previous night, Houston fanned 14 times as Yu Darvish came one out from a perfect game for Texas.

“Yesterday, it was more about their guy, and today it was more about our guys,” Houston manager Bo Porter said. “We just had our guys expanding the (strike) zone way too often.”

The Rangers are the fourth team since 1916 to start the season by striking out 10 or more batters in each of their first three games.

Ludwick might

miss three months

CINCINNATI — Reds outfielder Ryan Ludwick is expected to miss at least three months following surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right shoulder.

Ludwick dislocated his non-throwing shoulder while sliding into third base in Cincinnati’s opening-day loss to the Angels on Monday. An MRI a day later found the cartilage tear.

“Hopefully sometime after the All-Star break we’ll get a fresh and new player back,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

The Reds put Ludwick on the 15-day disabled list and called up outfielder Derrick Robinson to make his major-league debut. Chris Heisey will get a chance to play in left field full-time, and second baseman Brandon Phillips will move into the cleanup spot.


Hiroki Kuroda became the latest Yankees player to get hurt, leaving in the second inning against Boston after Shane Victorino’s line drive bruised the middle finger of his pitching hand. He was to be X-rayed.

• Red Sox DH David Ortiz (heel inflammation) is on a timetable to rejoin the team in the third week of April.

• Struggling Phillies RHP Roy Halladay was chased by Atlanta in the fourth inning. He was trying for career win No. 200 and a spot alongside Yankees LHP Andy Pettitte as the only active pitchers to be 100 games over .500.

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