The Texas Rangers (40-42) lost the first series of the season against the Chicago White Sox (36-45) at Guaranteed Rate Field, previously known as U.S. Cellular Field. The Rangers will next see the White Sox at Globe Life Park for a four-game series in August.
First basemen Joey Gallo hit a solo home run, his 21st, in third inning of Friday’s series opener to start the Rangers’ offense. An inning later, second basemen Rougned Odor hit a two-run home run, his 14th, to give the Rangers the lead. Right fielder Shin-Soo Choo finished the four-run fourth with a two-run single. Shortstop Elvis Andrus finished the Rangers’ offensive output in the sixth with a two-run single of his own.
On the pitching side, 32-year-old rookie starter Austin Bibens-Dirkx pitched 5 2/3 innings while surrendering four runs, three coming from solo home runs. Bibens-Drikx also struck out two and did not allow a walk. Relievers Jose Leclerc and Alex Claudio each earned a hold while they stunned the White Sox’s offense with 2 1/3 scoreless innings. Then, closer Matt Bush gave up three ninth-inning runs to earn his fifth blown save and fourth loss. White Sox won 8-7.
After watching Bush blow his fifth save of the year, Rangers’ manager Jeff Banister said the team will relieve Bush of closing duties and use a closer-by-committee for future save opportunities.
Designated hitter Jonathan Lucroy started the Rangers’ high-scoring contest on Saturday afternoon with a RBI groundout in the second inning. Then, left fielder Delino DeShields tied the game at two with his ninth double in the fifth. Following DeShield’s double, Andrus continued his recent power surge with a two-run home run, his 11th, to put the Rangers ahead. After Andrus’ home run, the Rangers used three extra-base hits to increase its lead. These extra-base hits included first basemen Mike Napoli’s 15th home run, a two-run shot, Odor’s 14th home run, a solo shot, and right fielder Nomar Mazara’s bases- loaded triple, his second of the year.
After his poor start in his return from the disabled list against the Indians, Ranger’s ace Cole Hamels returned to his old ways while he pitched 6 2/3 innings of two-run ball with six strikeouts and no walks. Lefty reliever Alex Claudio finished the game with 2 1/3 innings pitched and allowing two runs, two walks and striking out three to give Hamels the win, his third. Rangers won 10-4.
Prior to Sunday’s game, the Rangers traded with the Toronto Blue Jays for veteran reliever Jason Grilli, activated reliever Tony Barnette from the disabled list and optioned reliever Tanner Scheppers to Triple-A Round Rock.
Andrus knocked in the Rangers’ first run on Sunday with a RBI groundout. After the White Sox had a three-run third inning, Napoli hit a solo home run, his 14th, in the fourth. The Rangers scored again in the fourth following a throwing-error from White Sox catcher Kevan Smith. The Rangers had another two-run frame in the fifth because of a two-run single from Lucroy.
Rangers’ starter Tyson Ross pitched five innings and gave up four runs, five walks and struck out three on Sunday’s rubber game. Reliever Ernesto Frieri and ex-closer Matt Bush each pitched a scoreless inning and both earned their second hold. Leclerc could not continue the bullpen’s scoreless trend as he gave up two runs and earned his first blown save and second loss. Rangers lost 6-5.
The Rangers finished 4-6 and won one series, against the Yankees, to finish its 10-game road trip. The Boston Red Sox (47-35) will be the first team to greet the Rangers’ during a six-game homestand. This will be the last six games for the Rangers before the All-Star break.
The three games against the Red Sox can be heard:
Monday- Franchise 107.7 at 6:30 CT
Tuesday- Franchise 107.7 at 6:30 CT
Wednesday- Franchise 2 1560AM at 6:30 CT