After averaging one whole run per game over their last six, the White Sox offense broke out with three today.
OK, so maybe two of those three runs scored because Elvis Andrus botched an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play ball. However, it happened, the eight-game losing streak is over.
Before we get into the seedy underbelly of a winning effort, let's point out that White Sox pitching also made this win possible. Carlos Rodon got back on track after an ugly outing against Pittsburgh, holding the Rangers to two runs over six innings, one of which wasn't on him so much.
Otherwise, his talent overcame his rawness (three walks, but only four singles allowed), and the White Sox bullpen finished the job. Zach Putnam struck out the side in the seventh, Zach Duke struck out two during a 1-2-3 eighth, and David Robertson bounced back from his blown save with a perfect ninth. Sox pitching struck out 11 combined and neutered Prince Fielder (0-for-4, three strikeouts).
The offense wasn't nearly as competent, but it at least had enough traffic on the basepaths for things to happen.
Between six hits, four walks, three HBPs and two errors, the Sox weren't short on baserunners. In fact, they had the bases loaded five different times.
Yet they could only score one run on their own accord -- after loading the bases with three singles in the third inning, Adam LaRoche hit a sac fly for the game's first run. That's all well and good. Melky Cabrera then reloaded the bases by taking another pitch off his leg, which brought Alexei Ramirez to the plate.
A little background: In the first inning, Ramirez had the bases loaded, two outs, and a 2-1 count against Martinez Martinez then threw a changeup at Ramirez's eyes, and Ramirez somehow 1) swung, and 2) put the ball on the ground, resulting in an incredibly easy 1-3 putout. Jose Abreu preceded him by getting jammed on a 2-1 fastball off the plate, so it was just an awful inning for White Sox hitters.
This time, Ramirez's pitch selection wasn't the problem. He fell behind 1-2 on a pair of low strikes, but the next pitch was the most hittable of the group. That said, Ramirez put it on the ground up the middle, but slowly enough that Andrus could start a double play with relative ease...
... except Andrus attempt at a glove flip glanced off the edge of his leather and dribbled into center field. Two runs scored to make it a 3-0 game, and they still had runners on the corners with one out. They couldn't score any more -- Conor Gillaspie popped out, and after Tyler Flowers took a pitch to the arm to load the bases, Carlos Sanchez watched a fastball for strike three.
(Sanchez might've had his roughest game yet: 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and seven stranded in the ninth spot.)
However they scored those runs, it ended up being enough. Rodon survived a fifth inning that started inauspiciously -- Gillaspie deflecting a Ryan Rua grounder that an average third baseman probably could've picked without leaving his feet, and Rua taking second on a wild pitch that Flowers misread. Rodon complicated matters by walking Adam Rosales, and both runners ended up scoring on a sac bunt, single and a fielder's choice that was nearly a slickly turned DP between Sanchez and Ramirez.
Rodon escaped the inning with the lead, and completed the sixth around a two-out single by Mitch Moreland. The Rangers never threatened again.
*Avisail Garcia batted second in Robin Ventura's boldest lineup of the season. It worked well enough to try it again.
*Adam Eaton went 2-for-4 as he continues to resuscitate his OBP this month (up to .313).
*The White Sox went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
*Emilio Bonifacio pinch-ran in the eighth inning and was picked off. It's June 20, and he has yet to steal a base (0-for-3).
*There were nearly 10 minutes of challenges between three reviews, and the Sox ended up on the right side of all of them.