White Sox-Rangers Preview
The Texas Rangers’ offense has come to life during their winning streak, so much so that even the slumping Prince Fielder has gotten into the act.
Coming off its best performance of the season, Texas seeks a fifth straight victory Saturday night as it faces Jose Quintana and the visiting Chicago White Sox.
The Rangers (10-7) scored fewer than four runs eight times and reached double digits in hits on three occasions over their first 13 games, but they’ve outscored opponents 28-8 during their winning streak.
Texas exploded for a season-high 18 hits in Friday’s 12-0 win in the series opener, totaling at least 11 hits for the third time during its streak. Former White Sox outfielder Alex Rios, Jim Adduci, Leonys Martin and Robinson Chirinos had three hits apiece, with the latter two homering.
Martin drove in four runs, and Fielder – who entered the contest hitting .164 – had an RBI double, singled, walked twice and was hit by a pitch to reach base in each of his plate appearances.
Kevin Kouzmanoff went 2 for 5 with two RBIs and is batting .412 while hitting safely in each of the nine games he’s played.
”I wish I could see this every night, but I know that’s not possible,” manager Ron Washington said. ”We’re just grinding out at-bats, having good at-bats throughout the lineup and that’s what it’s going to take.”
Though the Rangers had their way at the plate Friday, this contest may be a different story. Quintana (1-0, 2.37 ERA) has been especially solid over his last two outings, giving up two runs in seven innings of a 15-3 win over Colorado on April 8 before allowing one run in six frames of Chicago’s 4-3 win over Cleveland on Sunday.
"He battled, even with the rain delay and having to go back out there," manager Robin Ventura said of Quintana’s last outing. "He had (121) pitches. It didn’t necessarily seem that way, just because it seemed like he was in control the whole time."
The left-hander is 1-0 with a 3.46 ERA in two starts against the Rangers, who hope to get a solid outing from Colby Lewis after Martin Perez pitched a three-hitter in the opener.
Texas, which has a 2.00 ERA during its winning streak, last suffered a defeat when Lewis allowed four runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings of Monday’s 7-1 loss to Seattle.
Lewis was making his first start in nearly two years after having right hip resurfacing surgery in August to remove bone spurs.
”I’d like to thank the Texas Rangers and the organization for giving me an opportunity," Lewis said. "It wouldn’t have meant as much for me to get back out there without having this uniform on.
"Overall, I felt great. Everything was really, really good.”
The right-hander has won his last two starts with a 1.20 ERA against the White Sox (8-9), who are coming off being shut out for the first time. Alexei Ramirez had one of their season-low three hits, extending his franchise-record 17-game hitting streak to start a season.
Ramirez has a streak of 21 dating back to last season for Chicago, which has been outscored 29-5 during its three-game skid. The White Sox’s 5.34 team ERA is among the worst in the league.
"Somebody’s got to buck up and wear it,” Ventura said of his pitching staff. ”If you get in a mess like that, you’re the guy that has to stay in and take it.”