With 15 of their next 18 games on the road, the Chicago White Sox were looking to start the tough stretch on a positive note. However, the Sox dropped the first game of the series, ending April with a dismal 10-15 record. After losing the series opener to the Texas Rangers, the Sox bounced-back with two victories to get a series win to begin the month of May. Sadly, it was the first series win for the South Siders since April 5-7 versus the Seattle Mariners.
Here’s what happened in Arlington, Texas:
Tuesday, April 30th – Rangers 10 White Sox 6
The White Sox’ bats had a surprisingly good night versus opposing starter, Yu Darvish, but it was not enough. The Sox got out to an early 2-0 after the top of the first inning, and would score four runs in six innings off of Darvish. In all, the Sox cranked out 10 hits on the evening, with Dewayne Wise leading the charge with a 4-for-4 performance. Wise’s biggest hit was a 2-run homer off of Darvish in the sixth inning to tie the game at 4-4. Six other Sox regulars recorded a hit, with Alex Rios, Adam Dunn, and Paul Konerko each adding a RBI. Dunn’s RBI came on a solo shot (his 6th) in the seventh inning, but it would ultimately not matter after the Sox bullpen allowed 6 runs to score in the bottom of the sixth inning to break the tie.
Jose Quintana got the ball on Tuesday, and battled to earn a no-decision. The left-hander went five innings, giving up four runs, on eight hits, one walk, and two strikeouts. Although Quintana was not at his best, he did give the Sox a chance to win the ballgame, and that is all that you can ask for when facing the Rangers in Texas. Q’s season ERA now sits at 3.58 with a 1.19 WHIP.
Reliever Matt Lindstrom started the sixth inning by recording an out, before issuing a one-out walk. Donnie Veal followed by allowing back-to-back doubles to break the tie. Nate Jones came on trying to stop the bleeding, but only made things worse. The righty gave up four runs, on three hits and one walk, turning the contest into a blowout. With the Sox trailing 10-4 to end the inning, the game was already decided.
Wednesday, May 1st – White Sox 5 Rangers 2
After having a dreadful April at the dish, the White Sox’ hitters got off to a great start in May. The Sox got eight hits on the night, with half of them going for extra bases. Alejandro De Aza and Conor Gillaspie led the way with two hits each, with both hitters connecting for a home run off of starter Nick Tepesch. The homers both came in the seventh inning to break a 2-2 tie, and the late-inning runs would be more than enough for the White Sox pitching staff.
Chris Sale went to the mound trying to snap a three-game losing streak. After running into trouble in the second inning, Sale settled down to pitch five scoreless frames to end his night. The southpaw completed seven innings, allowing just two runs, on six hits, two walks, and seven strikeouts. Sale was fortunate to stay in the game long enough for the offense to take the lead, resulting in his third win of the season. Sale now has a 3.82 ERA and 1.15 WHIP on the season.
Jesse Crain and Matt Thornton would combine to pitch a scoreless eighth inning that would set-up Addison Reed for the save opportunity. Reed responded by striking out two batters en route to his ninth save of the season.
Thursday, May 2nd – White Sox 3 Rangers 1
The White Sox had eight hits for consecutive nights, giving them 26 hits for the series. While the increase in hits was surely welcomed, only one hit mattered on Thursday. With the Sox trailing 1-0 in the top of the sixth inning, Tyler Flowers blasted a 3-run shot to break the game open. With the Sox leading 3-1, the pitching staff was asked to hold the slim lead.
With starter Jake Peavy being scratched just hours prior to the rubber-match due to back spasms, Hector Santiago was asked to be the emergency starter. Santiago was already set to start Friday’s series opener in Kansas City in place of the injured Gavin Floyd, but he was needed a day earlier. Despite the short notice, Santiago cruised through his first five innings of work before getting into a little jam in the sixth inning. The lefty surrendered a solo home run to Adrian Beltre in the second inning, but that was the only hit he allowed in the first five frames. Santiago started the sixth inning, getting a ground-out, before allowing a double and issuing a walk. That would be all for Santiago, as he finished the night with 5.1 innings, giving up one run, on two hits, two walks, and six strikeouts. It was an encouraging performance, and hopefully it is something that Santiago can build on with a chance to start with Floyd out. (Look for more on this story this weekend!)
With runners on first and second and one out, Matt Lindstrom was summoned to get out of the inning. Lindstrom promptly threw a wild pitch and walked Lance Berkman to load the bases. With the game on the line, Adrian Beltre came to the plate looking to at least tie the game. Fortunately, Lindstrom made the pitch and got Beltre to ground into an inning-ending double play. That would be the Rangers’ best chance at scoring, as Matt Thornton, Jesse Crain, and Addison Reed combined to pitch three scoreless innings to end the game. Reed did issue two walks in the ninth, but he got three strikeouts to erase the mild threat. Reed is now 10-for-10 in save opportunities on the year. Along with the 10 saves, Reed also has one victory, meaning that he has been responsible for saving or winning 11 of the 12 victories this season.
Record: 12-15, Last place in AL Central (4.0 games back)
Up Next: Despite Friday’s postponement, the White Sox will still play three games in Kansas City. Friday’s game versus the Royals will be made-up on Monday afternoon.
Saturday, May 4th at 6:10pm CT: Dylan Axelrod (0-1, 3.95 ERA) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (3-0, 3.06 ERA)
Sunday, May 5th at 1:10pm CT: Jose Quintana (2-0, 3.58 ERA) vs. Wade Davis (2-2, 5.55 ERA)
Monday, May 6th at 1:10pm CT: Jake Peavy (3-1, 3.38 ERA) vs. James Shields (2-2, 3.00 ERA)
*Jake Peavy is tentatively scheduled to pitch on Monday. Peavy was scratched from Thursday’s start due to back spasms.
Prediction: Ugh. Jeremy Guthrie owns the White Sox, so this series looks tough. Jake Peavy’s uncertainty for Monday doesn’t help matters either. I like the Sox chances in the Quintana vs. Davis matchup, so let’s see if they can pick up a win in one of the other two games. Given Guthrie’s dominance of the Sox, and Peavy’s status up in the air, the Royals have the edge. Kansas City wins two of three.
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