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.
|Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Ryan Braun's apology to the fans. |
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.
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.
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.