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Rangers deal White Sox fourth straight defeat

CHICAGO (AP) -- Gary Matthews Jr. figured the odds weren't in his
favor. Still, he got a good pitch to hit and took advantage of it.

Matthews doubled home the go-ahead run off Bobby Jenks in the
ninth inning, and the Texas Rangers handed the Chicago White Sox
their fourth straight loss, 4-3 on Friday night.

The winning rally started when Chicago's Brandon McCarthy (2-3)
walked Ian Kinsler with one out on a 3-2 pitch. Jenks, the White
Sox's closer came on, and immediately threw a flat cutter. Matthews
took advantage, and the Rangers won for the sixth time in eight
games.

"More times than not, you're not going to be successful against
these guys," Matthews said. "You just try to get a good pitch to
hit, take your swing and see what happens."

Jenks said, "I made a bad pitch and that's all there is to
it."

The hit made a winner of Francisco Cordero (5-3), who allowed
one hit in one scoreless inning of relief. Akinori Otsuka pitched
the ninth for his 10th save in 11 opportunities.

The White Sox had the tying run on base after A.J. Pierzynski
singled with two out in bottom of the ninth, but Paul Konerko
popped to second baseman Kinsler in short right.

Texas' Brad Wilkerson hit his 11th home run -- a two-run shot in
the second inning. It was the 17th homer allowed by White Sox
starter Jon Garland, who began the day one behind Baltimore's Bruce
Chen for the major league lead.

Matthews and Mark Teixeira had two hits apiece for the Rangers.

The White Sox scored three runs in the fourth on a bases-loaded
single by Ross Gload and RBI grounders by Juan Uribe and Brian
Anderson to take a 3-2 lead.

Garland was effective, if not spectacular, allowing three runs
on five hits in 6 2-3 innings but did not figure in the decision.
He left to a loud ovation after walking Matthews with the White Sox
ahead 3-2.

Before the game, manager Ozzie Guillen said his starters need to
pitch deeper into the game. Garland did just that, and the
relievers were more effective than they were the previous night,
when they allowed six runs in a 12-8 loss at Cleveland.

But the lead immediately disappeared.

Michael Young knocked the first pitch from Jeff Nelson down the
left-field line for a double to drive in Matthews. Nelson then
intentionally walked Teixeira, before Neal Cotts retired Hank
Blalock on a fielder's choice grounder to short.

"Since I've been here, it seems like this team has the ability
to score runs late," said Matthews, who signed with Texas during
the 2004 season. "It's a credit to our depth on the team. You've
got to have that attitude that you never give up. I think we have
that attitude because we know that we're not dependent on any one
player or any one hitter to get it done."

A strength last season, the White Sox's bullpen was 10th in the
American League with a 4.63 ERA entering the game. Chicago is now
16-of-24 in save opportunities.

"It looks worse than it actually is because we've got 162
games, we're not at the halfway mark yet, there's too much season
left to go," Jenks said. "It looks bad right now because it's
everybody (struggling) at once."

Texas starter Kameron Loe allowed three runs and 10 hits in six
innings.

After losing five of seven at Toronto and Cleveland, the White
Sox were glad to be back home, where they were a major league
leading 19-6 before Friday's game. But the troubles continued for
the defending World Series champions.

Chicago's Jermaine Dye extended his hitting streak to seven
games with a single and double and scored a run. Tadahito Iguchi
had two hits after going 4-for-23 on the trip. And Konerko, Gload
and Pierzynski also had two apiece.

White Sox designated hitter Jim Thome was scratched from the
lineup with a strain in the left quadriceps and adductor area,
which he suffered the previous night. Guillen hopes to have the
slugger back on Saturday.

"I'm not going to push this guy," Guillen said. "I'd rather
lose a game than lose him for 15 days. It sounds funny when the
manager says that when (the team's) not playing well."

Game notes
With Thome out, Konerko served as the designated hitter,
Gload started at first and Pierzynski batted third. ... The White
Sox's home game against the Los Angeles Angels that was rained out
on May 11 was rescheduled for Aug. 7. ... Rangers manager Buck
Showalter said RHP Kevin Millwood, bothered by a stiff back, looked
"a little better" Friday and should be ready to start against
Kansas City on Tuesday. Millwood was initially scheduled to pitch
on Sunday.