CHICAGO (AP) — The Texas Rangers ended their homer drought in a big way.
Adam Rosales, Jeff Baker and pinch-hitter Mitch Moreland each had two-run shots to go with solo a drive by Adrian Beltre and a bizarre inside-the-park effort by Ian Kinsler in Friday’s 11-5 win over the Chicago White Sox. The AL West-leading Rangers (75-53) won for the 19th time in 23 games to move a season-high 22 games over .500.
“We’ve got guys that can hit the ball out of the ballpark, but we just haven’t been hitting it out of the ballpark,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “All that tells me is we’re able to win baseball games many, many ways, not just with the long ball.”
The White Sox were unable to overcome a shaky outing by ace Chris Sale, ending a season-high six-game winning streak. Sale (9-12) allowed eight runs and eight hits in seven innings.
“I really have no excuses in my corner, really,” Sale said. “My arm felt good, my body felt good, my mind was right. I even felt like my stuff was good. Sometimes you just get beat.”
A.J. Pierzynski and Alex Rios each had a nice night in their return to U.S. Cellular Field for the first time since leaving the White Sox. Pierzynski, who signed with Texas as a free agent in the offseason, went 1 for 4 with a sacrifice fly. Rios, who was traded to the Rangers on Aug. 9, had two hits and scored two runs.
Pierzynski received a standing ovation when he was introduced in the first inning. Before the game, the team showed highlights of his White Sox career on the center field video board.
“It was hard to keep my emotions in check, especially the first couple innings,” Pierzynski said. “It’s just weird to go out there, as long as I was on the other side. Just to see the field from a different perspective is just odd. I don’t know how to explain it.”
The strangest play of the game was Kinsler’s inside-the-park homer. His third inning line drive rolled into a drainage track under the left-field line wall. By the time Dayan Viciedo was able to find the ball, Kinsler was on his way to the plate for his 11th homer and a 5-3 Rangers lead.
“He did exactly what he was supposed to do, kept running, and it worked in our favor,” Washington said. “The ground rules say that if the ball is trapped and visible, you have to go get it. It was visible.”
White Sox manager Robin Ventura came out to argue the play and was ejected.
“I figured since (Viciedo) got on his hands and knees trying to go get it, you would think it would be lodged underneath there pretty good that they would rule a double but (third base umpire Greg Gibson) didn’t,” Ventura said.
Baker and Rosales connected in the second inning, powering Texas to a 4-0 lead. Rosales added a sacrifice fly in the fourth for his third RBI of the game to make it 6-3.
Martin Perez (7-3) allowed four runs and eight hits in seven innings for the Rangers, who have won their last nine road games to improve to 37-26 away from home. In the bottom of the second, Perez gave back three of the four runs his team had staked him to in the top of the inning, and also hurt himself with a wild pitch and a balk.
“The game was moving along, we put up four runs and started giving them back, but (Perez) showed some presence out there,” Washington said. “That’s a veteran move, the way he gathered himself and got himself through seven innings.”
Viciedo had a two-run single in the second and eventually came around on Gordon Beckham’s base hit, pulling the White Sox within one. But that was as close as it would get.
Beltre hit his 27th homer in the fifth and Kinsler singled in a run in the seventh to give the Rangers an 8-4 lead. NOTES: It was the first time in Rangers history that they had a pinch-hit and inside-the-park home run in the same game. … Chicago left eight runners on base, to only four for Texas. … Saturday is the seventh annual Civil Rights Game. Texas RHP Yu Darvish (12-5, 2.68 ERA) starts against Chicago LHP Hector Santiago (4-7, 3.27 ERA). … Attendance was 31,891.