White Sox 5, Rangers 3: They can’t lose this series

A big night from Jose Abreu and a big third inning lock in a split at worst

The White Sox will not lose every series to an opponent who is not the Kansas City Royals this season.

They locked in a split with the Rangers at the very least after their 5-3 victory tonight, and they used the same recipe that worked in the first victory over Texas: a sustained two-out, four-run rally.

Texas held a 3-0 lead behind efficient pitching by Ariel Jurado, who was making his MLB debut. The Sox had better swings on him the second time around, though, and they strung together several successful at-bats in the third inning.

Omar Narvaez led off with a double, but he was in danger of being stranded at third after a flyout and a groundout. Yolmer Sanchez worked a walk to keep the inning alive, and Jose Abreu shot a single through the left side to put the Sox on the board.

Matt Davidson followed by muscling an RBI single over short, with Sanchez scoring on a poor throw by Joey Gallo in left. Daniel Palka then ripped a 1-0 fastball off the wall in left after a weird route by Gallo, scoring Abreu and Davidson to give the Sox a 4-3 lead.

Lucas Giolito and three White Sox relievers made it hold up. Giolito gave up three doubles to the first four batters he faced in the second inning to trail 2-0, and then a drop by Yoan Moncada on a force at second allowed the Rangers to tack on an unearned run via a sac fly in the third.

But Giolito stuck to the game plan by throwing strikes, and while he wasn’t aesthetically impressive, he was able to get through six with the 4-3 lead intact. He walked Shin-Soo Choo twice, and he plunked Isiah Kiner-Falefa twice. Otherwise, he held the Rangers to four hits, getting ahead with a 91-mph fastball to set up a lot of medium-deep flyouts.

Abreu was the most impressive Sox on the field. He went 3-for-3 with an intentional walk and a solo shot over the center field wall off Kevin Jepsen in the seventh, which provided a comforting insurance run.

That said, the bullpen didn’t need it, because it was nearly perfect itself. Bruce Rondon allowed the only damage with a one-out single, but he pitched around it (and the customary Narvaez passed ball) with a couple of strikeouts. Jace Fry extended his hitless dominance by going four-up-four-down, and while I’d have rather seen him close it out, Rick Renteria wasn’t burned by going to Nate Jones. Jones brought his good fastball command, ending the game with a strikeout and a jam-shot popout for his third save.

Bullet points:

*Palka worked his second walk of the season, even after swinging on 3-0. He was replaced by Trayce Thompson, which will probably be the way to go with leads while the outfield is shorthanded.

*Moncada once again avoided striking out, giving him two zero-K games over his last three.

*The “Hawk Solo” Hawk Harrelson bobblehead brought 25,611 fans to the park, and it’s nice to see the Sox show up for a good crowd.

Record: 12-30 | Box score

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Brett R. Bobysud

From the bottom of the 3rd inning on, last night’s game was a pleasant viewing experience.

Side note: I didn’t realize Star Wars night was such a big draw at the ballpark.

Patrick Nolan

Giolito leads the major leagues in walks and hit batsmen.

StockroomSnail

Ed Farmer approves of that last part. Stone Pony too.