By: Richard W. Humphrey
The Rangers came back from a series opening loss to the White Sox to win the final two games and win their second series out of the last three. In the process, they won consecutive games for the first time since June. The Rangers hit seven home runs and got fine pitching performances to take the final two games of the series. In the process, they no longer have the worst record in baseball. That dubious honor has been ceded to Colorado.
In Monday’s series opener, the Rangers scored a run in the first and two more in the second, and never scored again. The two in the second scored on Rougned Odor’s fourth home run of the year, a total that ties him with Alex Rios. The White Sox came back with two in the third inning and tied the game in the fifth with Tyler Flowers’ solo home run. Flowers then drove in two more with a single in the sixth to give Chicago the lead.
The game was called because of rain in the seventh inning. The final score was 5-3. Hector Noesi (6-8), who was with the Rangers earlier this year, was the winning pitcher with the seven inning complete game. Nick Martinez (1-8) took the loss.
The highlight of the series was Tuesday’s Ranger slugfest. They hit a season high-five home runs and scored a season high 16 runs. Robinson Chirinos hit two of the round trippers. Sin-Shoo Choo, J. P. Arencibia, and Adrian Beltre hit the other three. Arencibia drove in four runs, which ran his RBI total to 20 since the All-Star break, which is the most by any player in the second half. Things were so bad for Chicago that designated hitter Adam Dunn pitched the ninth inning.
Colby Lewis (8-8) pitched the complete game shutout, the second of his big league career. 16-0 was the final score.
Texas played a very fine game in Wednesday afternoon’s finale. Reserve infielder Adam Rosales provided the offense with a pair of home runs to account for all three Ranger runs on the day. Nick Tepesch lasted 5-2/3rds innings to win, his fourth against seven losses. He allowed six hits in shutting out the Sox. Ramon Mendez was touched for the lone White Sox run in the seventh inning, but Neal Cotts and Neftali Feliz finished the game without further scoreboard damage.
Feliz especially was impressive, as his fastball touched 96, the best velocity he has shown since before his Tommy John surgery. He was credited with his fourth save in five tries.
The win was also impressive for the Rangers as they beat Chicago’s All-Star starting pitcher, Chris Sale. Sale went six innings, giving up the two run home run to Rosales among the three hits he allowed. He was tagged with just his second loss of the season to go along with 10 wins. Daniel Webb, one of the three Sox relievers that finished the game, surrendered the other Rosales home run.
The Rangers are off Thursday, and then head south to Houston for three games this weekend. They trail the Astros by two games, so could overtake them in the division with a sweep. The announced starting pitchers are Miles Mikolas (1-4) on Friday, Yu Darvish (10-6) on Saturday, and Mick Martinez (1-8) on Sunday.
ROSTER MOVES: The Rangers are planning to activate Geovany Soto from the disabled list on Friday.
* Assistant General Manager A. J. Preller accepted an offer from the San Diego Padres to become their new general manager. Preller is one of GM Jon Daniels long time friends and has been instrumental in scouting Latin American players.
* Derek Holland was roughed up in his second minor league rehab appearance, throwing just one inning and giving up four earned runs for Round Rock. Local Ranger fans can see him in person as his next scheduled game is this Saturday for Frisco at home against Tulsa.
* Mike Carp was claimed on waivers last weekend and played in the series to become the 55th player to appear for the Rangers this season, which ties the Ranger season high.