Rangers-White Sox Preview

BY foxsports • April 23, 2016

More solid pitching and an unorthodox triple play helped the Chicago White Sox cool off the visiting Texas Rangers in the opener of their weekend series.

While the White Sox look to end their struggles against Colby Lewis, they hope Carlos Rodon can rebound from the shortest start of his young career Saturday.

Texas (10-7) scored 24 runs during a four-game winning streak that ended Friday, when it managed five hits and was stymied over seven innings by Jose Quintana in a 5-0 defeat. The Rangers threatened in the seventh with the bases loaded when Mitch Moreland lined out to right fielder Adam Eaton, who threw to first to double off Ian Desmond. Prince Fielder was eventually caught in a rundown between third and home to complete the 9-3-2-6-2-5 triple play.

"Besides marrying my wife and the birth of my kid, that's high up there,'' Eaton said, smiling. ''I've never had that much fun on a ballfield.''

While that play certainly helped its cause Friday, Chicago's early success has been keyed by a rotation that has a 2.69 ERA and a bullpen that's yielded eight runs over 46 1/3 innings.

Rodon (1-2, 4.73 ERA) gave up two runs and 10 hits in 13 innings over his first two starts, then allowed five runs, six hits and walked two in one-third of an inning in Monday's 7-0 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. It was the shortest non-injury related start for the White Sox (11-6) since Neal Cotts recorded one out Aug. 28, 2003.

''Just challenge guys. That's something I can learn from," Rodon told MLB's official website. "Just go up there and throw the ball. See if you can hit it. See how far you can hit this one, if you can hit it at all.

"You have to say, 'forget about it,' and just see what you are made out of and challenge those guys if your stuff is not working."

The left-hander walked six over two starts against the Rangers as a rookie in 2015, but was 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA.

Lewis (1-0, 4.00) has struck out 38 and walked four while posting a 1.22 ERA to win six straight starts against the White Sox. He allowed three runs on two homers in 15 innings of two meetings last season.

The right-hander, though, hopes to be more effective than last Saturday when he yielded four runs and 10 hits - three solo homers - in six innings while not earning a decision in an 8-4 victory over Baltimore.

"To kind of keep them at bay for six innings and keep it close, that's all I wanted to do," Lewis said.

Austin Jackson is 3 for 28 in his last 10 games but is batting .441 with a home run and three doubles in 34 at-bats, including the postseason, against Lewis. Jose Abreu is 4 for 10 against him but 2 for 30 with eight strikeouts in the last eight contests.

Texas' Adrian Beltre is 9 for 18 without a strikeout in the past five games, and he's fanned just three times this season.

Fielder is batting .365 in his last 14 games against Chicago.



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