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In a pitchers’ duel between Iván Nova and Kolby Allard, the White Sox defense cracked first, and Nova followed.
Nova’s bid for a shutout came crashing to a halt in the fifth inning as two errors set up a two-run homer. Jimmy Cordero gave up another two-run shot, while Allard and two Texas relievers allowed nothing.
Nova more or less cruised through five and started the sixth with his sixth strikeout of the night. Elvis Andrus followed by hitting a weak grounder just to the third-base side of the mount. Tim Anderson ranged and gloved it, but his attempt to make a side-armed throw in one motion resulted in a changeup that sailed well into the baseline and against the Rangers dugout for an E6.
During a lengthy at-bat to Willie Calhoun, Andrus took off for second on a curve in the dirt. James McCann made a nice pick, but his vain attempt to throw to throw to second after sliding behind Calhoun resulted in a throw into the runner with Anderson late covering. Andrus reached third with one out, reducing Nova’s margin for error. Calhoun then obliterated said margin by turning on a two-seamer that would’ve been decently located had Calhoun not opened up in expectation of it. He crushed it into the Goose Island for a two-run homer and a 2-0 Texas lead.
That ended Nova’s night on a sour note. However, by allowing just one earned run, he lowered his ERA to 4.37, so his second half success remains intact.
The Sox had no success to speak of against Allard, at least that resulted in runs. They didn’t draw a walk and were limited to singles until the game’s penultimate batter, so they couldn’t keep the line moving long enough by swinging to dent the scoreboard. They went went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
Their closest call occurred int he fifth when Yolmer Sánchez singled with one out and took second on an errant pickoff attempt. Alas, Leury García struck out and Anderson’s deep drive died in the glove of Scott Heineman in front of the center field wall.
The Sox made their share of hard contact early, but contact of any kind was more difficult to find late in the game. Rafael Montero and José Leclerc recorded three-quarters of their eight combined outs via the K. The Sox struck out 14 times without a walk, although Sox pitchers carried an 11:1 ratio on their side.
*Jose Abreu recorded his 1,000th hit with a single in the first inning.
*Adam Engel made a sensational diving catch on a wind-contained ball in shallowish left center. He needed all of his make-up speed once he realized the ball wasn’t carrying like he expected, and he closed on it with all of his reach.
*The Sox committed three errors, the first of which was by Jon Jay mishandling a Calhoun single that turned into a double with one out in the fifth.