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White Sox 16, Rangers 2: No sweep, no normalcy

Lots went wrong ... or right ... or weird ... in an easy Easter victory

Tom Pennington

The White Sox snapped their four-game losing streak, and they chose the weird route to get back in the win column.

Here's what wasn't strange

Jose Abreu hitting a homer to right-center: Just a missile well into the seats. After snapping out of his slump with two singles on Saturday, he went 3-for-6 with that homer and two doubles today.

Hector Noesi taking a beating: The Sox piled on seven more in the ninth inning to set a new single-game high in runs, but based on reports from Mariners bloggers throughout spring training, it seems like Noesi is one of the more ideal pinatas in baseball.

Here's what was strange

Everything Erik Johnson: A summary of his control in a single GIF.


Johnson picked up the win with a line that's hard to pull off: 5 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 2 K. He threw just 44 of his 87 pitches for strikes, walking the leadoff man in each of the first four innings and throwing two fastballs to the backstop.

Moreover, the first one bounced right back to Tyler Flowers, which allowed him to flip to Johnson in time to get Leonys Martin at home.

The second wild pitch? That one didn't help at all!

Tyler Flowers' Day: Besides the great play to recover from the wild pitch, he thwarted another potential rally by gunning down Shin-Soo Choo at second, and caught a pop-up over Conor Gillaspie because Gillaspie didn't do a good enough job at calling him off.

And at the plate, Flowers went 3-for-4 with a walk and three runs scored. His wheels forced Kevin Kouzmanoff to throw the ball into right field on what should've been a 5-4-3 double play, setting up a Conor Gillaspie warning-track sac fly and Abreu's two-run homer.

Gillaspie's sac fly: He just missed hitting a dong after he knocked one earlier in the plate appearance.


James Hoye overturning his own call: Alejandro De Aza checked his swing on a high-and tight pitch that hit him in the hand. Hoye awarded him first base ... and then said he struck out. Robin Ventura came out to challenge his competence, but he had to settle on "maybe it was a foul ball" for the official reason, since umpires can't review HBPs or checked swings.

Alas, it hit all hand, and Ventura is 0-for-3 in challenges.

Jordan Danks' first intentional walk: Danks homered off Robbie Ross in the third inning to give the Sox a 2-0 lead, and that must've stuck in the mind of Ron Washington, because he called for righty Shawn Tolleson to issue the free pass ... on a 1-1 count with two outs.

That loaded the bases for Marcus Semien, who promptly unloaded them with a triple off the wall in left. It's not quite as bad as intentionally walking Chris Getz, but that's pretty bad.

Semien's day: Batting leadoff with Adam Eaton out, Semien went 4-for-6 with four RBI and two runs scored.

Adam Dunn's day: Dunn had reached base in every game until this one. He went 0-for-6 with two strikeouts, and was the only White Sox without a hit.

The bullpen: Even with Johnson lasting only five innings, the relief corps held up. Ronald Belisario (two innings), Andre Rienzo and Matt Lindstrom combined to post zeroes the rest of the way. Rienzo loaded the bases on a walk, HBP and infield single, so it wasn't completely out of the ordinary, but he got Alex Rios to pop out to end the threat.

Rienzo's appearance likely means he isn't starting on Wednesday, so expect Charlie Leesman?

Wednesday's starter: Nope, Rienzo's still the favorite for now.

The final pitching line: 9 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 6 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 2 HBP

Record: 9-10 | Box score | Play-by-play | Highlights