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White Sox 10, Rangers 5: Smooth-ish sailing

Offense takes decisive lead in fifth, and Joakim Soria puts out fire in eighth

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Texas Rangers
Ending the Slide: Avisail Garcia led the Sox offense with four hits and three runs scored.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Avisail Garcia was having a rough season even before a strained hamstring caused him to miss two months. He had one single in each of his first three starts coming back, then followed that up with three homers and a triple in his next five contests. Today, he officially arrived to follow up his breakout 2017. Garcia had four hits—a single, two doubles, and a triple—and scored three runs. He raised his formerly miserable season line to a respectable .270/.280/.452. Since coming off the disabled list? .333/.333/.690.

Garcia was the offensive catalyst, but his four hits were among 14 for the White Sox in total. Jose Abreu and Matt Davidson each drove in three runs, and Tim Anderson and Adam Engel each scored twice. Those five players sparked a five-run outburst in the fifth inning, and turned a 2-2 tie in a 7-2 lead.

Engel reached on a dropped third strike with one out, then scored on a double by Anderson. Garcia drove in Anderson with a single, Abreu singled, and Davidson roped a double off the left field wall to score both runners and make it 6-2. After Leury Garcia struck out, Kevan Smith singled to drive in the fifth run of the inning.

All those runs scored against Cole Hamels, who didn’t have his best outing of the season. He had only given up an RBI groundout and an RBI triple to Abreu through the first four innings, and the Rangers rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth. With the lead cut to 2-1 and a base open, the Sox intentionally walked Joey Gallo to load the bases with one out. Reynaldo Lopez struck out Isiah Kiner-Falefa for the second out, and then proceeded to walk Delino DeShields to force in the tying run.

Other than that single-inning lapse, Lopez got the job done once again. He made it through 6⅓ innings and somehow only allowed two runs despite seven hits and three walks. The six strikeouts were also a welcome addition. Of course, the bullpen and defense had to go and find a way to make it interesting.

Jace Fry finished off the bottom of the seventh in relief of Lopez, but then walked Rougned Odor and gave up a rocket single to Ryan Rua leading off the eighth. With an 8-2 lead, Rick Renteria made the unusual move of replacing a lefty with another lefty, calling on Xavier Cedeño to face Gallo. Gallo hit the first pitch into right-center field, right between Engel and Avisail Garcia—who both gave up on the ball as they crossed paths. Both runs scored, Kiner-Falefa scored Gallo on a groundout, and Cedeño then walked both DeShields and Shin-Soo Choo to bring the tying run to the plate. And yes, I did say “8-2 lead” just a couple sentences ago.

Joakim Soria came on to shut down this madness before it got any further. With the score 8-5, runners at first and second, and one out, Elvis Andrus swung at a first-pitch fastball and flied out to center. The Rangers sent Adrian Beltre up to pinch-hit, and he worked the count full before Soria snapped off a 75 mph curveball that just grabbed the inside corner (according to plate umpire Mike Ripperger) to end the inning.

The Sox pushed across a couple more runs in the ninth to reach double digits after the Rangers did the same the last two days. The tenth scored on a suicide squeeze by Charlie Tilson, which probably breaks some sort of unwritten rule. But it made the bottom of the ninth easier for Soria, who grabbed two more strikeouts around a pair of singles to complete the save.

Other Stuff

  • Leury Garcia hit a tapper to short leading off the fourth and was initially ruled safe, but the call was overturned on review.
  • In the bottom of the fourth, Engel allowed Jurickson Profar to advance from first to third when he misplayed Profar’s single off to the side and let it get by him. That began the two-run rally that tied the game.