BY: Richard W. Humphrey
The Chicago White Sox took three out of four from the Texas Rangers this weekend, finishing Sunday afternoon with a one hit shutout of the Lawmen. Chicago wins the season series four games to three. Texas finished the week 4-4, with a 1.5 game lead over the Angels for third place in the American League West. They are 21 games out of first place. The division leading Astros have a magic number of 10 to mathematically eliminate the Rangers from winning the American League West. Any combination of Astros’ wins and Rangers’ losses that add up to 10 will eliminate Texas.
The highlight of the weekend for Texas was Saturday evening’s game. Kolby Allard started for Texas, his fourth start with Texas since coming over from Atlanta in a July 31 trade. Allard pitched into the seventh inning, shutting out the Sox over 6-1/3rd innings on six hits. He allowed no walks and struck out eight.
The final score was 4-0 as Rafael Montero and Jose Leclerc finished the whitewashing of Chicago. White Sox starter Ivan Nova gave up two runs in 5-2/3rds innings to take the loss and go to 9-10 for the year.
Allard is 2-0 with the win. He got run support from Willie Calhoun and Danny Santana, who each hit a two run home run.
Getting shutout Sunday was not a disaster. Brock Burke, who had debuted last Tuesday with six shutout innings against the Angels, again completed six innings allowing a run on two hits. He walked three and struck out five, but the Rangers managed just one hit in the game – a single from Shin-Soo Choo, such that Burke took the loss. He’s 0-1.
Ariel Jurado started the series opener and got hit hard early. The White Sox nicked him for a run in the second inning and four more in the third. Manager Chris Woodward stuck with him though after coming into the series having played four games in three days, two of which went extra innings. Jurado responded by completing the game allowing just one more run.
All the offense the Rangers could muster was a solo home run from Elvis Andrus making the final score 6-1. The good news despite the loss was that the bullpen got a day off. Jurado is 6-10 with the loss, while White Sox starter Ross (former Ranger) Detwiler pitched six innings of one run ball to get the win and improve to 2-3.
On Friday night, the Rangers pushed three runs across in the first inning on a home run by Calhoun. Unfortunately, that was all the Rangers would score on the night. The Rangers got just two more hits after the first inning.
Lance Lynn was the Ranger starting pitcher, and it wasn’t his best outing. He did strike out 11, but gave up seven runs on seven hits over 5-2/3rds innings. Lynn took the loss to go to 14-9. The final score was 8-3, and Dylan Cease, the Sox’ starting pitcher, was the winner. He’s 3-6.
The Rangers get a day off Monday and then open a two game series against the Angels. The announced starting pitchers for Texas are Mike Minor (11-7) on Tuesday and Ariel Jurado (6-10) on Wednesday. Game time for both games is 9:10 PM (Central).
* The Rangers scored just eight runs on 17 hits in the four game series, and all eight were driven in by home runs. Willie Calhoun drove in five of the eight runs.
* Hunter Pence did not play in this series because of lower back stiffness. The Rangers hope he’ll be ready by Tuesday when the Angels’ series opens.
* Brock Burke is the first Ranger pitcher ever to pitch at least six innings and allow one or fewer runs in his first two starts with Texas. His ERA is 0.75!
* The Rangers’ team batting average on the road is down to .231, the lowest in the American League.
* Rougned Odor’s batting average is down to .195 and his OPS is .679. For August, he is hitting .145 with a .553 OPS.
* The Astros are 23-2 at home against the other four teams from the A. L. West. Texas is 0-7 in two series, and play two more games in the Bayou City on September 18 and 19.