The win not only saved the White Sox from being swept for the first time this season, but also gives the team a strong change in momentum heading into a ten-day stretch in which they will face the division-leading Detroit Tigers six times.
Against the Rangers, four South Siders had three or more hits, with rookies leading the onslaught. Marcus Semien went 4-for-6 and cleared the bases with his first career triple at the top of the sixth inning. Semien’s recent hot stroke puts him in a very good position to stay in Chicago when Gordon Beckham returns from the DL. Jose Abreu continued to crush major league pitching with his fifth home run of the year, and went 3-for-6 with three RBI.
Filling in center field for Adam Eaton, who exited yesterday’s loss in the fifth inning and is day-to-day with a left hamstring strain, Jordan Danks improved his season stock with his first home run of the season, a towering two-run shot in the top of the third that put the White Sox on the board first.
The White Sox also looked strong on the mound, from rookie starter Erik Johnson’s five innings of one-hit ball to the combination of Ronald Belisario, Andre Rienzo and Matt Lindstrom, who collectively gave up one hit and one walk in four innings of relief.
As much as the White Sox needed the win, the game didn’t always look within reach, especially in the early innings. The White Sox committed several unacceptable mental miscues, one of which set broadcaster Ken “Hawk” Harrelson off on a mini tirade about professionalism. In the bottom of the third inning, third baseman Conor Gillaspie and catcher Tyler Flowers collided while trying to catch a popup off the bat of J.P. Arencibia. Flowers caught the ball, but it was an incredibly embarrassing play and earned its due criticism from Harrelson. And, though Johnson only gave up one hit, he also walked five batters, two of whom later scored.
The White Sox head to Detroit next for the first four of their 19 matchups with the Tigers this season. Hopefully scoring 16 runs against the Rangers can create enough momentum to beat the Tigers.