In a most comical commencement of Sunday's rubber match, White Sox bench coach Mark Parent was ejected by crew chief Jerry Layne before the game even began. It appeared that Parent had a few extra nuggets of wisdom to impart while handing over the lineup card.
After John Danks found his groove in a quick first inning, Alejandro De Aza started the Sox offense on the right foot, drawing a walk and then taking second on an overthrown pick-off attempt by Matt Garza. Gordon Beckham moved him over to third on a grounder to the second baseman. Alexei Ramirez just missed fair grounds on a sharp grounder up the right side, then struck out swinging a few pitches later. Adam Dunn's turn to bring in De Aza ended on an unchecked swing. Nothing to showfer, but the Sox managed to get twenty pitches out of Garza in the first.
The Rangers again led off the third inning with a single by Jurickson Profar. After an Adam Rosales strikeout, Craig Gentry kept the line moving with a single just over the glove of a leaping Alexei. Elvis Andrus moved Profar to third on a deep fly to center; but the Rangers runners remained on the corners when Ian Kinsler grounded out to Alexei to end the threat.
The Sox registered their first hit du jour in the bottom of the third, with a single to center off the bat of Dayan Viciedo. Josh Phegley walked and De Aza moved the runners over on a well-executed bunt to the left side. Beckham hit a fly ball to center on the first pitch he saw, which appeared to be enough to get Viciedo in from third. Rangers center-fielder Gentry had the easy read on Becks' hit, but the ball knuckled at the last second and instead knocked off of Gentry's glove. Both baserunners scored on the error and the Sox left the inning with a two-run lead on only one hit.
In the top of the fourth, the Rangers matched the score almost immediately, needing only one hit of their own. Danks walked Beltre to start and after Rios popped out on his second pitch, Baker worked back from an 0-2 count and homered to right field, just over the head of Avisail Garcia.
Garcia tracked the ball to the wall and full-force faceplanted into the fence on his jump to snag it. After a few minutes trying to gather his marbles, Garcia was removed from the game and Jordan Danks took his place in right field - and batting sixth in the lineup.
JorDanks had his first chance at the plate in the bottom of the inning, and made the most of it. After watching a 94-MPH first-pitch fastball from Garza, JorDanks put the second offering - a hanging curveball - over the right field fence, appropriately close to where Garcia collided a half-inning earlier. JorDanks gave his brother and the Sox a 3-2 lead into the fifth inning, on only their second hit of the game.
The Rangers threatened again in the top of the 5th, with back-to-back singles that put Andrus on third and Kinsler on first with one out. The threat was over in a lucky blink of an eye, when Beltre rocketed a line drive to Jeff Keppinger, who doubled up Andrus leading off at third base.
The bottom of the sixth began with an Alexei double to right field. Dunn followed with a single to right that scored Alexei and put the Sox up 4-2.
Texas came close to scoring again in the top of the seventh, stringing together a couple singles off the bats of Gentry and Andrus. Kinsler then hit a grounder to Alexei in what appeared to be a tailor-made double-play; but Alexei dropped it and runners were safe at all bases. The defensive doom and gloom had barely sunk in before double-me-up-Beltre stabbed a grounder to Keppinger, who did make use of the double-play opportunity to end the inning.
Josh Phegley led off the bottom of the seventh with a solo shot to put the Sox ahead 5-2. Nate Jones nearly made quick work of the Rangers in the top of the eighth; but with two outs logged, A.J. Pierzynski came to the plate to pinch-hit for a stadium full of loving fans. He lined a double to right field to keep the opposing offense alive. But Profar promptly struck out swinging to end the inning and the final semblance of a threat that the Rangers would muster.
Today's history-making moment:
With some help from his little brother, John Danks earned his fourth win of the season today. This brotherly nudge is a rare major league occurrence, with the last occasion dating back to 1955.
Jordan Danks' homer marks the first time a player has homered and supported his brother while pitching since Billy and Bobby Shantz— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) August 25, 2013
*Sox are 8-2 in the last ten games and have won the past four series