Rangers Drop Close One To White Sox 3-2
CHICAGO (AP) – Alex Rios entered the game when Carlos Quentin was injured in the first inning then hit a go-ahead double in the eighth, giving the Chicago White Sox a 3-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday night to snap a three-game skid.
Brent Lillibridge came in to pinch-run after Paul Konerko’s one-out single. Rios ripped a full-count pitch from Koji Uehara (1-3) down the left field line to score home Lillibridge.
Quentin injured his left shoulder making a diving catch. Alejandro De Aza moved to from center field to right and Rios, lustily booed, came in to play center and bat fourth.
Rios quickly validated the jeers by striking out in the bottom half with one out and runners on first and third hitting in Quentin’s spot.
The slumping center fielder had just two hits in his last 27 at-bats before the double and had become one of the main targets of dissatisfied White Sox fans.
Quentin tumbled to make the catch on Craig Gentry’s shallow flyball, but came up favoring his left shoulder and was immediately removed from the game. X-rays came back negative and he will be examined further on Sunday.
The White Sox overcame two homers by Ian Kinsler to even the series with the AL West-leading Rangers.
Kinsler drove the second pitch of the game down the left field line, waiting to see if it stayed fair before he trotted around the bases. It was his sixth leadoff homer of the season and 19th of his career.
He homered again in the third on a 1-2 pitch after fouling off six balls. Kinsler has three multihomer games on the year, 10 overall.
Kinsler finished with three hits to break out of a prolonged slump. He came into the game hitting .189 (18 for 95) over his last 22 games.
The two solo shots were all that White Sox starter John Danks would give up. He pitched seven strong innings, scattering seven hits. He struck out five and didn’t issue any walks.
He gave up a one-out double to Nelson Cruz in the fourth, but Cruz was caught attempting to steal third to end the threat.
Danks threw 81 of his 107 pitches for strikes. After starting the year 0-8, he’s rebounded to post a 5-1 mark over his last 10 starts with a 2.32 ERA despite the no-decision.
Rangers starter Alexi Ogando matched Danks with two runs allowed over seven innings pitched. The righty surrendered six hits and struck out five, walking one.
Ogando tossed a shutout against the White Sox on May 23 in Texas and hadn’t allowed a run against them in 11 career innings until Alexei Ramirez’s two-out single in the first.
Juan Pierre followed suit with a two-out single in the second to put the White Sox up 2-1. Even with the loss, the Rangers have won seven of nine games on their current road trip and 10 of 13 overall.
Jesse Crain (8-3) put two runners on in the eighth but got Cruz to fly out to right field to end the threat.
Sergio Santos worked the ninth for his 26th save in 30 chances.
NOTES: Rangers manager Ron Washington was reluctant to give SS Elvis Andrus the day off Saturday. “All these guys have been grinding. They all need a day off and I can’t give it to them,” Washington said. “So I decided today was a good day to do Elvis.” Andrus ended up pinch-hitting in the ninth and striking out. Texas sends LHP Derek Holland (11-4, 4.23 ERA) to the hill for the series finale on Sunday. Holland is 5-0 with a 2.63 ERA in his last eight starts and is tied for the A.L. lead with four shutouts. Gavin Floyd (10-10, 4.66) will throw for the White Sox. Floyd struck out seven of the first nine batters he faced in his last start, but then allowed five runs over the next 2 2-3 innings in a no-decision.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)