Thursday, July 5, 2012
Chicago White Sox 2, Texas Rangers 1
Rangers drop tight pitching duel for fourth straight loss.
The Texas Rangers continued to find new ways to lose Thursday in Chicago, going down 2-1 to the White Sox for their fourth straight loss. Texas is now 50-33, a half-game behind the New York Yankees for the best record in the major leagues and four and a half games ahead of the LA Angels for first place in the AL West. Chicago improved to 45-37.
Rangers starter Matt Harrison was once again solid, allowing just two runs on eight hits over eight innings. Harrison, who walked two and struck out five, nevertheless managed to surrender a home run for the first time since June 3rd and lose a game for the first time since May 12. Harrison's streak of seven straight victories was snapped, and the All-Star now stands at 11-4 with a 3.10 ERA.
White Sox rookie starter Jose Quintana was one better, giving up just one run on two hits over eight stellar innings. Quintana, who walked one while striking out eight, improved to 4-1 on the season with a 2.04 ERA. Addison Reed struck out two in a scoreless ninth for his twelfth save.
Texas got on the board first in the top of the fourth when Ian Kinsler drew Texas' only walk of the game. Kinsler advanced to second on Elvis Andrus' groundout, then scored on Adrian Beltre's RBI single. No Ranger reached base after that, as Kinsler drew their only other hit with a single in the first.
New addition Kevin Youkilis brought his team back in the bottom frame. Youkilis drew a walk off Harrison, then advanced to third on two consecutive singles. When Alexei Ramirez grounded out with the bases loaded, Youkilis scored to make it 1-1. Harrison then got the final out to end the inning.
Youkilis struck again in the bottom of the sixth, when he led off with a solo home run that would eventually decide the game. Youkilis finished the three-game sweep, his first three games in a White Sox uniform since getting traded from the Boston Red Sox, with six RBI.
Texas next heads home for a three game series against the 35-47 Minnesota Twins starting Friday night.