Rapid Reaction: Rangers 11, White Sox 5


The Texas Rangers finally broke out the long ball -- with authority -- in an 11-5 shellacking of the Chicago White Sox on Friday night in the Windy City.

AL West lead expands: The Rangers have a 3½-game lead on Oakland after ending Chicago's six-game winning streak, while Oakland lost 9-7 at Baltimore. The last time the Rangers had this large of an advantage in the division was when they led the A's by four games after losing the first game of a doubleheader to Arizona on May 27.

Roll continues: The Rangers are 19-4 since July 29. They have a nine-game road winning streak. Their 75-53 record is the second best in franchise history through 128 games. The 1999 and 2012 Rangers were 76-52 with 34 games remaining in the regular season.

Home run barrage: The Rangers had four home runs in their past 10 games entering Friday's game against White Sox starter Chris Sale, who had the ninth-best ERA in the American League. So the Rangers hammered a season-best five long balls against the White Sox, including four against the ChiSox's ace. The Rangers have 145 homers for the season.

Baker homers: Jeff Baker finally hit his first home run since coming back last month from a thumb injury, a two-run shot in the top of the second for a 2-0 lead. It was Baker's first home run since June 10 off Cleveland's Scott Kazmir. It was Baker's ninth homer against a lefty this season, which ranks him in the top 10 in the AL. Baker has 10 home runs this season.

Rosales knows Sale: Utility man Adam Rosales was 4-for-7 with a home run off Sale going into Friday's game. Rosales made it two home runs off Sale, clubbing a two-run shot to follow Baker's in the second inning. Rangers manager Ron Washington said before the game that he was giving Rosales his first start in a Texas uniform because of his strong career numbers against Sale.

Inside the park: In one of the strangest plays of the season, Ian Kinsler had an inside-the-park home run for a 5-0 lead in the top of the fifth. Kinsler scorched a line drive down the left-field line, and as the ball rolled into the corner, it went underneath the padding where the stands come out. The ground rules at U.S. Cellular Field are that the ball is still in play in that situation, and as White Sox left fielder Dayan Viciedo struggled to get the ball out, Kinsler raced around the bases for his first homer since Aug. 3.

Beltre again: Adrian Beltre continued his tear, belting his 27th home run in the top of the fifth to give the Rangers a 7-4 lead. Beltre, the American League player of the month in July, went into Friday's game with a league-best .406 batting average. Since July 1, Beltre is batting .387 with 13 home runs and 37 RBIs.

And Moreland, too: Mitch Moreland made a pinch-hit appearance in the top of the eighth against Sox right-handed reliever Dylan Axelrod and hammered a two-run shot for his 18th homer of the season.

South Side homecoming: Catcher A.J. Pierzynski was 1-for-4 with a sacrifice fly and an RBI in his first game back in Chicago after eight seasons with the White Sox. Right fielder Alex Rios was 2-for-5 with two runs scored, returning to U.S. Cellular Field two weeks after being traded to the Rangers by the White Sox.

Perez on August roll: Martin Perez ran his record to 4-0 in August, allowing four runs in six innings as he took advantage of his offense's run support. Perez retired the last nine White Sox he faced. He has won four straight games for the first time in his career.

Up next: The Rangers play the middle game of a three-game series against the White Sox. Right-hander Yu Darvish (12-5, 2.62 ERA) faces left-hander Hector Santiago (4-7, 3.27) at 6:10 p.m. Saturday night on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM.