Chicago White Sox: Texas Rangers

Rios not bothered by being ignored

August, 24, 2013
8/24/13
7:45
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- After watching Texas Rangers teammate A.J. Pierzynski get a five-minute video salute and a standing ovation on Friday night, you would think Alex Rios would be upset. The White Sox honored Pierzynski for his eight seasons of solid play. Rios, who was with Chicago four seasons, was barely acknowledged by the fan base.

[+] EnlargeAlex Rios
Bob Levey/Getty ImagesAlex Rios did not feel slighted by the reception he received from White Sox fans compared with A.J. Pierzynski.
"Hey, I did not mind that," Rios said. "It was up to the fans to express what they felt at that time. A.J. played for the Sox eight years, and they won a World Series with him. I understand why his reception was better than mine. I am not a personality that brings much media attention. I don’t think, in general, people see what I bring to the table. That is too bad, but I don’t go out and seek attention. I really only blame myself because I don’t overexpose myself to media or other sources."

Rios, who was traded to Texas in late July, has fit in nicely with his new ballclub. The Rangers have been on a tear since he was acquired from Chicago. His new club has won 19 of 23 while overtaking Oakland as the leader in the American League West.

"The people have been great to me here," said the right fielder, who replaced Nelson Cruz following the latter's 50-game suspension. "I felt like a part of the team immediately. A.J. helped me a lot by introducing me around and relaxing me."

The 31-year-old Puerto Rico native misses Chicago and his former teammates but loves the situation he has ended up in.

“I always say you come to the field for one reason, and that is to win," he said. "When you are winning like we are, you are much more motivated to go to the field and do your job. To play here is like a breath of fresh air. I am lucky, but that doesn’t mean I disrespect Chicago or my former teammates."

Current teammate Ian Kinsler likes what Rios has brought to the Rangers.

(Read full post)

Pierzynski set for roller-coaster weekend

August, 22, 2013
8/22/13
1:02
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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AJ PierzynskiBrace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty ImagesA.J. Pierzynski figures to receive a warm welcome in his return to U.S. Cellular Field on Friday.
CHICAGO -- A.J. Pierzynski will be torn Friday as he make his long-awaited return to U.S. Cellular Field.

Pierzynski will once again get to play in front of Chicago White Sox fans that treated him so well for eight seasons, but he will also try to send those fans disappointed now that he plays for the Texas Rangers.

The veteran catcher knows it will be a whirlwind three days.

"I will be glad to get it over with, especially Friday," Pierzynski told reporters in Texas on Wednesday. "But I'm looking forward to it and seeing some people. I still have a lot of friends over there, guys who I will be friends with for life."

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Rios trade good for Sox and Rangers

August, 9, 2013
8/09/13
3:55
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- The trade that sent Alex Rios from the Chicago White Sox to the Texas Rangers for young infielder Leury Garcia makes sense for all parties involved.

For Rios, this will be his first chance at going to the postseason, having played his entire career with Toronto and the White Sox.

"I believe it will be refreshing for myself," said Rios as he prepared to leave the White Sox's clubhouse on Friday. "I am going to go to a team that is fighting for a playoff spot. I believe they are hoping to win their division and get to the playoffs."

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Rios traded to Rangers

August, 9, 2013
8/09/13
1:25
PM CT
By ESPN.com news services
ESPNChicago.com
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The Texas Rangers acquired outfielder Alex Rios on Friday in a deal with the Chicago White Sox.

The White Sox will send $1 million to Texas toward Rios' salary, sources told ESPN, while receiving either a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Read the entire story.

Sale finishes strong after 2nd-inning escape

May, 2, 2013
5/02/13
12:26
AM CT
Jennings By Randy Jennings
Special to ESPNChicago.com
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- The second inning began like it was going to be Chris Sale's downfall. Instead, it became a momentum-builder.

Sale was roughed up in the second stanza for four hits, including a home run. He also walked a batter.

Yet he escaped allowing only two runs.

Given new life, the left-hander with a mid-90s fastball breezed from there, shutting out the Texas Rangers over his final five innings in a 5-2 victory for the Chicago White Sox.

"The turning point was that second inning," Sale, who improved to 3-2 and lowered his ERA to 3.83, said. "Something I’ve had to learn is the game isn’t over in the second inning.

“I came out of that inning feeling strong mentally. I just kept pushing until the bullpen took over, and those guys kept it right where it was."

Some of the damage in the second inning came from the Rangers hitting good pitches.

"But a couple were bad pitches," Sale admitted.

Jeff Baker drove Sale’s low breaking ball over the left-field wall an estimated 393 feet to cut the White Sox lead to 2-1. A walk and singles by Geovany Soto and Craig Gentry loaded the bases. Ian Kinsler drilled a Sale pitch off the left-field wall, but due to a baserunning error by Soto, the Rangers produced only one score.

With a two-run lead gone and the bases loaded, Sale went to work. He struck out Elvis Andrus for the second out after a long battle and induced Lance Berkman into a fielder’s choice grounder to shortstop.

He went on to retire 10 Rangers in a row at one point.

"For him to come out of that inning only giving up two [runs] was big," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "That’s a tough lineup he was facing. He kept them off balance."

Sale allowed six hits but only one after the second inning. He walked two and struck out seven. He finished strong, too, pitching a 1-2-3 seventh with a pair of strikeouts.

Stopping the White Sox’s three-game losing streak was important to Sale.

"When you want to stop a streak, it’s important to go out and do everything you can to get a win," he said. "That’s what I did."

Reed: Hitting Pierzynski was unintentional

May, 2, 2013
5/02/13
12:04
AM CT
Jennings By Randy Jennings
Special to ESPNChicago.com
Archive
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Closer Addison Reed said he was trying to pitch A.J. Pierzynski inside, but he was not trying to intentionally hit his former Chicago White Sox teammate known for outspoken ways.

"I was trying to throw inside and it happened to hit him," said Reed, who worked a scoreless ninth for his ninth save. "Was I trying to hit him? Absolutely not."

Reed said he enjoyed throwing to Pierzynski when he was the White Sox catcher.

"I grew up a Sox fan rooting for him," Reed said. "I have nothing at all against him."

Pierzynski, signed by the Texas Rangers in the offseason, was used as a pinch hitter with two outs and nobody on in the ninth with the White Sox leading 5-2. Reed’s pitch hit Pierzynski in the elbow.

With a three-run lead against the powerful Rangers lineup, White Sox manager Robin Ventura explained, "We’re not trying to put anybody on base."

"You saw what happened," he said. "Thirty seconds later, they had the tying run at the plate. There was no message sent."

Reed said there was no conversation between himself and Pierzynski after the incident.

"I didn’t hear anything," Reed said. "I had other things on my mind."

In the Rangers clubhouse, Pierzynski said he wasn’t aware of any problems with Reed.

"Not that I know of," Pierzynski said. "I always got along fine with him."

Ian Kinsler singled after Pierzynski was hit. But Reed struck out Elvis Andrus, representing the tying run, with two on to complete his ninth save of the season. Reed has converted 15 straight save opportunities dating back to the 2012 season.

Together with Jesse Crain and Matt Thornton, the White Sox bullpen did not allow a run. Coming into the game, the bullpen had been tagged for a 7.43 ERA and an 0-4 record over the preceding eight games.

Rapid Reaction: White Sox 5, Rangers 2

May, 1, 2013
5/01/13
10:43
PM CT
Jennings By Randy Jennings
Special to ESPNChicago.com
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Chicago White Sox used a pair of seventh-inning homers to even the three-game series at a game apiece with a 5-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night before 34,677 at Rangers Ballpark.

How it happened: Conor Gillaspie launched a home run over the right-field wall an estimated 384 feet to snap a 2-2 tie leading off the seventh. Two outs later Alejandro De Aza lined a two-run shot into the seats near the right-field foul pole, at 353 feet. The White Sox have homered in 10 straight games. Alex Rios staked the White Sox to a 1-0 lead in the first with an RBI single, scoring De Aza, who doubled to open the game. Paul Konerko opened the second with a double and, after a Gillaspie single, scored on Tyler Flowers’ double-play ball to make it 2-0. The Rangers tied it in the bottom of the second on a Jeff Baker home run and Ian Kinsler’s RBI single.

What it means: The White Sox ended a three-game losing streak with much improved play over the previous night’s 10-6 loss to Texas. For the second straight game, the White Sox couldn’t hold an early 2-0 lead. But Chris Sale kept middle-inning relief from becoming a factor by pitching seven innings. The bullpen, struggling with a 7.43 ERA in the last eight games, got the job done ... but not without an anxious moment or two. The first two Rangers that Jesse Crain faced in the eighth singled. But he worked out of trouble with final-out help from Matt Thornton. Addison Reed, who converted his 15th straight save, stirred the pot by hitting pinch hitter A.J. Pierzynski with two out in the ninth, followed by a single by Kinsler. But Reed ended it with a strikeout.

Outside the box: What is it about Sale and the American League West? With his win over the Rangers, Sale is now 8-0 against the West. He came into the game with an ERA of 3.18 in games against the West, with 69 strikeouts in 68 innings. Sale allowed only two Rangers to reach base in the final five innings of a strong seven-inning start. Once handed a three-run lead, Sale finished his night with a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh, striking out two and fanning Kinsler on his 110th pitch. Sale held the hot Texas bats to six hits while striking out seven.

Offbeat: The White Sox caught a break in the second inning, when Kinsler’s line drive off the left-field wall with the bases loaded scored only one Rangers run. Credit left fielder De Aza’s quick recovery. Also credit some questionable base running. Geovany Soto, at second base, didn’t appear to get a good read on the ball. Craig Gentry, the runner at first, ran up on Soto and was only a few feet behind when touching second. Soto had to stop at third. Sale made it an important play by retiring the next two hitters to prevent further damage and keep the score 2-2.

Up next: Right-hander Jake Peavy (3-1), coming off a solid performance in a winning effort over the Tampa Bay Rays, will be opposed by Justin Grimm (2-0) in the conclusion of the three-game series with Texas in a 7:05 p.m. start Thursday at Rangers Ballpark. The forecast calls for a game-time temperature of 50 degrees after a cold front passes.

Keppinger returns to Sox lineup

May, 1, 2013
5/01/13
6:22
PM CT
Jennings By Randy Jennings
Special to ESPNChicago.com
Archive
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Second baseman Jeff Keppinger returns to the Chicago White Sox lineup for Wednesday's game against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark.

Keppinger missed the last four games with a back injury.

Fresh off a 4-for-4 performance in Tuesday's 10-6 loss to Texas in the series opener Tuesday, Dewayne Wise gets his second consecutive start in center field. Jordan Danks remains hampered by fluid in his injured knee.

Former Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski is not in the Texas lineup for the second consecutive game because of a strained oblique. Rangers manager Ron Washington said he expects Pierzynski to play in Thursday's 7:05 p.m. series finale.

Jordan Danks scratched, A.J. out

April, 30, 2013
4/30/13
6:38
PM CT
Jennings By Randy Jennings
Special to ESPNChicago.com
Archive
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Chicago White Sox centerfielder Jordan Danks was scratched two hours before the series opener against the Texas Rangers due to a bursa sac inflammation behind the right knee.

Dewayne Wise will spell Danks, a native Texan, in centerfield and bat ninth.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Danks’ injury wasn’t serious.

“It was one of those decisions that we’d rather have him available off the bench than start him and have to take him out after a couple of innings,’’ the manager said.

(Read full post)

White Sox to host Civil Rights Game

April, 2, 2013
4/02/13
3:07
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox announced Tuesday that their scheduled Aug. 24 game against the Texas Rangers at U.S. Cellular Field will now be called the "Civil Rights Game."

Read the entire story.

Reports: Pierzynski heading to Rangers

December, 20, 2012
12/20/12
6:36
PM CT
Durrett By Richard Durrett
ESPNChicago.com
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Free-agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski has agreed to terms with the Texas Rangers on a one-year deal, pending a physical, according to multiple reports. The physical is expected to occur on Friday.

Read the entire story.

Sources: Pierzynski to meet with Rangers

December, 18, 2012
12/18/12
2:44
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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The Texas Rangers will meet Chicago White Sox free-agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski and his agent in Arlington on Tuesday, according to two major league sources.

Read the entire story.

Feldman too much for White Sox

July, 29, 2012
7/29/12
10:12
PM CT
By Clinton Foster
ESPNChicago.com
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Scott FeldmanTim Heitman/US PresswireScott Feldman was too much for a White Sox offense that had been on fire.
ARLINGTON, Texas – The Chicago White Sox's bats fell almost totally silent in a 2-0 loss to the Texas Rangers on Sunday, and the Sox failed to complete a sweep. This came after Chicago put up 17 hits and 14 runs in their first two games of this series.

Scott Feldman was dominant for Texas, throwing eight shutout innings and allowing seven hits, no walks and five strikeouts in just 88 pitches. He matched a career-high in innings pitched for the first time since he pitched eight innings against the White Sox on June 2, 2010 in Chicago.

"At first you'd think it was just the start time (an hour earlier than normal), but he threw well," Robin Ventura said. "Even when it got dark, you could see he was still keeping us off balance. Any time we got anything going, he just found a way to get out of it. You just tip your hat."

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Rapid Reaction: Rangers 2, White Sox 0

July, 29, 2012
7/29/12
9:01
PM CT
By Clinton Foster
ESPNChicago.com
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Chicago White Sox failed to complete a sweep, falling 2-0 to the Texas Rangers in the final game of their three-game series. Gavin Floyd posted his 10th quality start of the season, but took the loss as the recently hot Chicago bats fell silent.

What it means: With the loss, the White Sox's lead in the AL Central is cut to 1 1/2 games over the Detroit Tigers. Chicago still takes a win in the three-game series against Texas and takes a 55-45 record into Minnesota on Monday.

Disappearing act: The White Sox's offense, which had been instrumental in grabbing their previous two wins in this three-game series, virtually went missing on Sunday. Scott Feldman shut down the Sox's bats, posting an eight-inning shutout, tying a career-high in innings pitched. The last time Feldman pitched eight innings was against the White Sox on June 2, 2010 in Chicago. Hits were few and far between as Chicago had seven hits and six strikeouts. Chicago also left six men on base and only had one extra base hit. Jordan Danks was the only White Sox hitter to have multiple hits, going 2-for-3.

Offensive struggles: After winning an offensive shootout against the Rangers on Friday, the White Sox found themselves in the thick of a defensive battle for much of Saturday's game. Both teams were hitless through the first three innings and the Rangers were scoreless through four. The Sox got on the board in the fourth thanks to a Paul Konerko two-run homer and were able to keep the offense going for the fourth and fifth innings. The bats mostly struggled for the rest of the game. Outside of the fourth and fifth innings, the Sox had two hits and had all three batters strikeout in the ninth inning.

Humber humbles Rangers: Philip Humber pitched one of his best games since his perfect game against the Seattle Mariners in April. He pitched six innings and allowed four hits (one home run), one run, two walks and four strikeouts. His hits and runs allowed were his lowest totals since May 13 against the Kansas City Royals. He was hitless through three innings, scoreless through four and had 1-2-3 innings in the second and sixth. He ran into some trouble in the seventh, allowing a leadoff triple and a walk before he was pulled. But Jesse Crain relieved him and closed out the inning with consecutive strikeouts and a flyout to preserve Humber's fifth win of the season.

Costly mistakes: Chicago allowed the Rangers to get on the scoreboard twice because of some costly defensive mistakes. First in the third inning, Gavin Floyd issued Josh Hamilton his second consecutive walk with one out and later gave up a single to David Murphy that moved Hamilton to third base. Mike Napoli then reached first and Hamilton scored on an error when Alexei Ramirez couldn't handle a routine ground ball. Then, with the Rangers up 1-0 in the fifth inning, Nelson Cruz hit a leadoff double and reached third on an ensuing groundout from Hamilton. Michael Young then grounded out to the Floyd, but Floyd didn't look Cruz back to third, and Adam Dunn's throw home was off the mark and not in time, allowing Cruz to score and put Texas up 2-0.

Dodging bullets: Despite the mistakes that scored runs, the White Sox also dodged some major bullets on defense early in the game. The Rangers loaded the bases in both the first and second innings and failed to bring a single runner home with some of their best hitters at the plate. Both runs to load the bases started with singles and ended with Floyd walking a batter. In the first inning, Michael Young was at the plate with the bases loaded and grounded out to Ramirez. The second inning ended on Adrian Beltre's second consecutive pop-up into the glove of Gordon Beckham at second base.

Pedestrian outing: A quality start from Gavin Floyd wasn't enough to net a win for the Sox. He pitched 6 2/3 innings and allowed seven hits, two runs (one earned) and threw one strikeout. The stat that stuck out the most though was his five walks, two of which loaded the bases and one of which scored. It was the third time that Floyd allowed five walks this month.

Hitless: Some of the White Sox best hitters were hitless in Sunday's game, including Kevin Youkilis, Paul Konerko and Dayan Viciedo.

Welcome to Texas: The Rangers Ballpark in Arlington proved to be a pretty hostile place for the White Sox to play on Sunday. The temperature in Arlington for first pitch was 104 degrees and didn't fall much even after the sun set. That didn't discourage a sellout crowd of 46,744 from coming out to support the Rangers.

Up next:
Mon at Minn: LHP Jose Quintana (4-1, 2.58) vs. RHP Cole De Vries (2-2, 3.64), 7:10 p.m.

Sox's Humber humbles Texas

July, 29, 2012
7/29/12
12:01
AM CT
By Clint Foster
ESPNChicago.com
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- It’s no secret that Philip Humber has had an up-and-down year pitching for the Chicago White Sox since throwing a perfect game against the Seattle Mariners on April 21. But nothing can build a pitcher’s confidence quite like shutting down one of the best lineups in the MLB in front of family and friends in his home state.

[+] EnlargePhilip Humber
Layne Murdoch/Getty ImagesPhilip Humber gave the White Sox a solid effort in Texas on Saturday.

The 29-year-old Texan and Rice grad pitched six innings and allowed four hits (one home run), one run, two walks and four strikeouts in a 5-2 win over the Texas Rangers in Arlington, just around 180 miles from his hometown of Carthage. He kept the Rangers hitless through the first three innings, scoreless through the first four and had 1-2-3 innings in the second and sixth.

“It was great, man. I was excited,” Humber said. “We had a lot of people here, a lot of family and friends and on top of that just people from my hometown, Carthage, yelling at me in the bullpen and stuff. Definitely nice to pitch here, it was my first time to get to start here. To come in here and beat a tough team is always good. We have a chance to sweep them tomorrow, we like our spot.”

Josh Hamilton was out of the Rangers lineup, but Humber still had his hands full with a well-respected, albeit slumping offense. Humber said he was particularly impressed with young outfielder Leonys Martin.

“You take Hamilton out and you feel like you’ll get a little relief, but it’s not really there,” Humber said. “There were no breaks and it seemed like every at bat was a battle. We were very fortunate to come out with a win.”

Humber left the game in the seventh inning after 100 pitches, but his bullpen picked him up and staved off a comeback attempt from the Rangers to preserve Humber’s fifth win on the season. Robin Ventura said he was very impressed with Humber’s performance.

“He was great,” Ventura said. “That’s when he’s at his best, when he’s able to command the strike zone throwing his fastball on both sides of the plate. I think towards the end, he got a little tired. But a great lineup and to see him pitch like that was impressive.”

Humber and his teammates heard the news of the White Sox trade for Francisco Liriano after the game. Humber was excited by the idea of adding Liriano to shore up a pitching staff that has struggled with injuries.

“I’ve played with Franky and he’s a great teammate,” Humber said. “He’s one of those guys that makes the guys around him better. He works hard and everyone knows he’s got great stuff. I’m excited to have him here. I think it will be a great addition.”

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jose Abreu
BA HR RBI R
.317 36 107 80
OTHER LEADERS
HRJ. Abreu 36
RBIJ. Abreu 107
RA. Ramirez 82
OPSJ. Abreu .964
WC. Sale 12
ERAC. Sale 2.17
SOC. Sale 208