Rapid Reaction: White Sox 2, Rangers 1
The Texas Rangers lost their fourth straight game Thursday, falling 2-1 to the White Sox to get swept in Chicago. Matt Harrison pitched a complete game (eight innings) and got a quality start but lost for the first time since May 12. His last seven decisions had all been wins. The offense also couldn't seem to string any hits together, scoring just one run on two hits.
What it means: The Rangers have lost four straight games, their longest losing streak since May 29 to June 2 (four games). They are 4.5 games up on the Los Angeles Angels, who host the Baltimore Orioles tonight.
Offense still not clicking: Once again, the offense struggled to put hits together. The Rangers have managed just eight runs on 28 hits during the slump. On Thursday, it was Jose Quintana who held them down -- the Rangers managed only one run and two hits. Quintana had a career-high eight strikeouts. Closer Addison Reed pitched a scoreless ninth.
Harrison complete: Harrison got a complete game, his second of the season, but also the loss. He went eight innings and gave up two runs on eight hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
Strange run: The Rangers took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on a ball hit by Adrian Beltre that went off Quintana and bounded off between first and second base. The ground ball gave Harrison the lead, but he couldn't hold it in the bottom half of the inning.
Walk hurts: Harrison walked Kevin Youkilis with one out in the fourth (on a 3-2 count after falling behind 3-0) and gave up two straight singles to score the run. But after issuing a walk to Dayan Viciedo (after he was ahead 0-2) to load the bases, Harrison struck out Tyler Flowers on a changeup. He limited the damage in an inning that could have been a big one for the White Sox.
Bounce back: After getting in and out of trouble in the fourth, Harrison came out and needed just seven pitches to get out of the fifth, including an inning-ending strikeout of Eduardo Escobar.
Rare homer: Harrison gave up a home run to Youkilis to lead off the sixth inning, which gave the White Sox a 2-1 lead. It was the first homer Harrison had given up in six starts.
Limited tickets: There are scattered singles and obstructed view tickets only left for Friday's game against Minnesota with standing room tickets expected to go on sale Friday. ... There are about 1,500 reserved seats left for Saturday and 7,000 left for Sunday.
Up next: The Rangers return home to face the Minnesota Twins in a three-game series. LHP Martin Perez (1-0, 9.00) faces LHP Francisco Liriano (2-7, 5.40) at 7:05 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and TXA21.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.