ARLINGTON, Texas – The White Sox knew they would have to play their best ball to earn wins against the Texas Rangers at the Ballpark in Arlington. And on Friday they rode an offensive showcase from start to finish to overpower the Rangers, 9-5 and take the first game of this three-game series.
The White Sox lineup contributed from top to bottom, with every starter reaching base at least once against one of Texas’ best pitchers, Yu Darvish. Among the game’s top performers were Kevin Youkilis -- who went 1-for-3 with a two-run home run, another run scored and two walks the game after his ankle sprain – Gordon Beckham – who went 2-for-4 with a double and a fielder’s choice – and Alexei Ramirez – who overcame a wrist injury to finish 2-for-5 with a two-run homer.
“When we’re swinging the bats well and getting on base, this is a pretty good offense,” Adam Dunn said, who had a single, two walks and scored twice. “When we’re swinging it good, it’s as good as anybody’s.”
It’s within reason to suggest that the White Sox would not have won without the offensive show they put on. They only scored one run in the first inning after loading the bases twice, a missed opportunity that could have been fatal when the Rangers jumped out to a 4-1 lead at the end of the inning. But the Sox kept swinging the bats and it paid off.
“Just a big team win for sure,” Beckham said. “To come out against a guy that’s that good (Darvish) and not get down after we gave up four in the first, to keep battling back to eventually take the lead and later extend it was important.”
Beckham contributed from the bottom of the order with his best game of the month and one of his best of the season. It was important for the White Sox to get production from players at the bottom of the order like Beckham, who hits ninth.
“It was good for us to do something in the bottom,” He said. “When the bottom of you’re lineup’s doing well, then you’re lineups pretty good. We were happy to get on base and give the guys at the top a chance to help us in. Decent night for me, but it’s just another night. You hope you do that every night, but I was happy that came out of me.”
Even though they were able to get eight hits off of him, the White Sox hitters were very impressed with Darvish. Facing the rookie phenom for the first time, many veterans can see why he is building a reputation.
“He’s got good movement on his ball,” Youkilis said. “He changes speeds pretty well. It’s a small sample size, but there’s some pitches that just ran real well and had good movement.”
While they are happy with the win, Youkilis said that they have unfinished business in Texas. The Sox are ready to refocus and continue the series tomorrow against a tough opponent that leads their division just like Chicago does.
“This is not an easy place to come and get wins,” Youkilis said. “This team is probably one of the better teams in the league at home. We’ll just try to bounce back tomorrow and win the series.”