White Sox 5, Rangers 2

Eduardo Escobar made his final contribution for the first-place

Chicago White Sox on Saturday night.

Escobar had two hits, including an RBI double in a three-run

fifth, in Chicago’s 5-2 victory over the Texas Rangers and then was

sent to Minnesota in a trade for left-hander Francisco Liriano.

Adam Dunn hit his major league-leading 31st home run and Philip

Humber pitched six solid innings in leading the White Sox to their

fifth straight victory.

The postgame scene, however, was dominated by the news of

Liriano’s acquisition. The lefty was traded to Chicago on Saturday

night for Escobar and minor league left-hander Pedro Hernandez.

”He’s such a good kid,” Dunn said of Escobar, ”We really

enjoyed having him.”

Escobar, who started at short in place of Alexei Ramirez, helped

the White Sox pull away in a three-run fifth that extended their

lead to 5-0.

Jordan Danks singled and came home on Escobar’s double. Two

batters later, Dunn hit a two-run shot that just cleared the wall

in center.

Escobar also doubled in the seventh.

”Everybody loves (Escobar),” Chicago first baseman Paul

Konerko said. ”He’s probably going to play every day and become a

household name over there.”

Konerko added a two-run homer for Chicago, which increased its

AL Central lead to 2 1/2 games over Detroit. The White Sox have won

the first two in a three-game series between division leaders.

Humber (5-5) didn’t allow a hit through three innings and won

for the second time in three starts. He yielded one run, four hits

and struck out four.

The Texas native was making his first start in his home state

against the Rangers.

”I had a lot of friends and family here,” Humber said. ”It

was definitely nice to pitch well here.”

Matt Harrison (12-6), who lost his second straight start, gave

up five runs and seven hits in seven innings. The left-hander

walked three and struck out four.

Josh Hamilton sat out after Rangers manager Ron Washington

elected to give his slumping slugger a mental break. Hamilton is

batting .145 in July and heard rare boos from his home fans after

striking out twice Friday night.

Adrian Beltre moved into Hamilton’s third spot in the batting

order, and rookie Leonys Martin played left field.

The Rangers also shuffled the middle of their lineup. Nelson

Cruz hit fourth for the second time in two years, David Murphy was

in the fifth spot and Michael Young batted sixth.

Mike Napoli had a solo homer and an RBI groundout for Texas,

which dropped its fifth in a row to the White Sox. Humber and three

relievers held the Rangers to five hits.

Texas went 0 for 13 with runners in scoring position and 1 for

21 in the series.

”If we start swinging the bat with some runners in scoring

position, we can turn this thing around,” Rangers manager Ron

Washington said. ”That’s what’s killing us right now.”

The White Sox had two rookies and backup catcher Tyler Flowers

in the lineup, but offensive leaders Dunn and Konerko came through

with the big hits to sink the Rangers.

Harrison allowed only a walk through three innings before

Chicago broke through. Dunn singled off Ian Kinsler’s glove at

second base with one out in the fourth. Konerko followed with a

416-foot drive to left, his 17th home run of the season.

Konerko is 10 for 19 with three home runs and seven RBIs over

his last five games.

The White Sox broke the game open with their three runs in the


After losing five in a row, the White Sox have responded by

scoring 40 runs during their current winning streak.

”You have to zone (Harrison) up and have a plan on what you’re

doing,” Dunn said. ”If you get away from the plan, he’s going to

get you.”

Young tripled leading off the seventh and Napoli followed with a

walk that ended Humber’s night.

Jesse Crain inherited the first-and-third jam. He struck out

Martin and Craig Gentry, then got some help from his defense. Dayan

Viciedo made a diving catch of Kinsler’s looping fly in shallow

left to end the inning.

NOTES: Chicago OF Alejandro De Aza (sprained left wrist) and SS

Alexei Ramirez (bruised left hand) didn’t play one day after being

involved in a scary outfield collision. While neither injury is

considered serious, White Sox manager Robin Ventura said De Aza

likely wouldn’t play Sunday, either. … C A.J. Pierzynski missed

his fourth straight game with a right oblique strain. … Texas RHP

Neftali Feliz will make his fourth rehab appearance Sunday for

Triple-A Round Rock. He is expected to throw about 80 pitches. …

Chicago’s Gavin Floyd (8-8) will face Texas’ Scott Feldman (4-6) in

the series finale Sunday.