The White Sox forgot Alabama’s orders to have a fiddle in the band if they were gonna play in Texas, but they did fiddle around enough to lose this afternoon match in the swelter.
Ivan Nova actually pitched fairly well, with one walk and six strikeouts in six innings, and a shaky quality start. His problem inning was the second. That went Rougned Odor double (taking advantage of Eloy Jimenez’s arm), sacrifice, sac fly, 415’ homer by Tim Fedorowicz of all people, Yonder Alonso error on easy grounder to first, Danny Santana 408’ dinger.
All of sudden, the Sox were down 4-0, and the Rangers tacked on another run in the third on Delino DeShields, Jr., single.
Meanwhile, the Sox got the leadoff batter on in the first, the first two in the second, the first in the fourth, and the first three in the fifth, which brought in the only run against starter Adrian Sampson. All three singles in the fifth were smoked, led by Eloy’s 107.2 mph rocket. That was followed by 102.5 mph shot by Yonder Alonso and a Tim Anderson RBI hit. But Sampson settled down and got a K, a foul pop and routine grounder to end the threat.
Offense in the earlier innings had died with double plays, two hit into by Jose Abreu and one by Alonso. In fairness to Alonso (never thought I’d write that), his was torched, but right to Elvis Andrus.
Things quieted down for a few innings, with the highlight a nifty grab by Ryan Cordell in right that led to easily doubling off DeShields.
Nova made it through six innings, at which time Ricky Renteria went to Carson Fulmer, creating a huge communal gasp on the part of Sox fans everywhere, since it looked like a surrender move. To the contrary, Fulmer cruised with two Ks and a fly to right.
Turns out the gasp should have been among Texans when, even with a day off tomorrow, Chris Woodward replaced Sampson with Peter Fairbanks for the eighth. Fairbanks had zilch, but, just to make the game interesting, Woodward left him in through a Cordell single, a Leury Garcia walk, an Abreu single, and a James McCann RBI walk (yes, the Sox acepted two walks in one inning - major breakthrough!) before pulling him for the equally weak Brett Martin. Martin gave up the hardest hit of the day, a 108.7 mph line scorcher by Eloy, which unluckily was right to DeShields, but which luckily he misplayed into two runs.
That set up a terrific comeback possibility, with the tying and leading runs at third and second and only one out, but Martin K’ed Alonso, and Woodward finally brought in his closer, Sean Kelly, who struck out Anderson.
With the score 5-4, Renteria went to Kelvin Herrera, but it was the Bad Kelvin of earlier in the year instead of the good Kelvin of recent days, and he was battered for two more Ranger runs. Kelly then cruised through the ninth around a Leury single, and that was that.
The Sox leave the swelter of Arlington for cooler Atlantic breezes in Boston, where it’s supposed to be 68 degrees tomorrow night. Lucas Giolito will face Eduardo Rodriguez in game one of the three-game series.