Laird's four RBI help Rangers rip slumping White Sox

CHICAGO (AP) -- Gerald Laird knocked two balls over the fence and
two others went for doubles.

By the time it was over, the Rangers' backup catcher had doubled
his home-run and RBI totals for the season.

Laird homered twice and drove in a career-high four runs to lead
Texas to a 10-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.

He had a career-high four hits and his first career multihomer
game as the AL West-leading Rangers took two of three from Chicago.
Laird hit solo homers in the eighth and ninth innings and a two-run
double in the sixth.

Mark Teixeria also had four hits and four RBI for Texas.

"I know I can do this," Laird said. "I love playing. I'm
working hard. I'm trying to do what I can to help the team win."

Rookie John Rheinecker (2-0) pitched eight innings giving up
seven hits and two runs with four strikeouts in his third start. It
was his second consecutive strong outing since being recalled from
Triple-A Oklahoma. He threw 8 1-3 shutout innings against Seattle
on Monday to earn his first major-league victory.

"It's a confidence booster," he said. "Hopefully, the team is
getting confident in me. I'm just as confident in them that they're
going to score runs."

The White Sox have lost seven of 10, and the schedule doesn't
get easier, with a three-game series against Central leader Detroit
starting on Tuesday.

Chicago's Joe Crede hit a two-run homer in the second inning.
Jermaine Dye and Pablo Ozuna each had two hits.

Mark Buehrle (6-4) suffered his second straight loss and his
first at home, allowing six runs and nine hits in seven innings. He
is 4-1 at U.S. Cellular Field.

"We're in a little slump right now, but you can't expect us
starters to go all season long without a bump in the road,"
Buehrle said.

The White Sox have allowed five or more runs six times in the
last 10 games.

"You wonder when they are going to click and you wonder when
those guys are going to be throwing the ball the way they used to
throw the ball," manager Ozzie Guillen said.

Teixeira broke a 2-2 tie with two out in the fifth with his
second double of the game -- a shot down the left-field line, past a
diving Crede at third, that drove in Gary Matthews Jr. from second.
He also had a two-run double that tied it at 2-2 in the third.

The Rangers then broke it open in the sixth.

Buehrle walked Jerry Hairston Jr. with two out, putting runners
on first and second, and Laird ripped a double down the left-field
line to make it 5-2. Matthews then singled to center, driving in

Laird hit solo home runs off Cliff Politte during a three-run
eighth and against Agustin Montero in the ninth, giving him four

Two years ago, Laird was hitting .307 and was the starting
catcher when he tore a ligament in his left thumb in a collision at
the plate with Kansas City's Ken Harvey in late May. He went
6-for-59 in his final 20 games after returning from the disabled
list in late July that year and spent most of last season in the

"It was tough to swallow, but you can only control your play on
the field," he said. "I went down (to the minors) and had a huge
year. I think it built confidence for me as a player."

He's made the most of his opportunities this season, batting
.367 with four homers and eight RBI in 21 games while backing up
Rod Barajas. And Laird isn't lobbying for more playing time.

"I know I'm the 'two guy' and I respect that," Laird said. "I
know my role. Rod is No. 1. When I get in there, I do want to do
stuff that creates opportunities."

The White Sox grabbed a 2-0 lead when Jermaine Dye singled
leading off the second and Crede sent a 2-0 pitch to the seats in
left-center. It was the ninth homer for Crede, who had a leadoff
double and two-run single during a seven-run fourth on Saturday.

Rheinecker settled down, drawing praise from manager Buck

"What I love more than anything is the way he went right back
on the mound like nothing happened," he said.

Game notes
The White Sox placed veteran reliever Jeff Nelson on the
15-day disabled list because of a sore right elbow and recalled
right-hander Agustin Montero from Triple-A Charlotte on Sunday. The
39-year-old Nelson allowed a run on three hits in 2 2-3 innings in
six appearances since the White Sox purchased his contract from
Charlotte on May 23. The 6-foot-8 right-hander ranks sixth among
active pitchers with 798 career appearances. ... DH Jim Thome hopes
to start Tuesday against Detroit after being held out of the lineup
for the third straight game with a strained groin. ... With Scott
Podsednik and A.J. Pierzynski resting, Ozuna started in left field
and led off, and Chris Widger caught. ... The Rangers had lost 11
consecutive series in Chicago since 1997.