It didn’t take Juan Dominguez long to learn that a perfect minor league record doesn’t necessarily translate into immediate success at the big league level.
The 22-year-old Dominguez, heralded as a top prospect in the Texas organization, had his contract purchased from Triple-A Oklahoma last week. After going 10-0 with a 2.87 ERA this season during stops at Class A Stockton, Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Oklahoma, Dominguez received a rude welcome to the big leagues Tuesday night against the Detroit Tigers.
After shutting Detroit down through the first four innings, he gave up four runs while retiring just two batters in the fifth, absorbing the loss in Detroit’s 7-4 setback. Dominguez surrendered seven hits, but did manage four strikeouts without a walk.
Despite the defeat, Texas manager Buck Showalter was impressed with Dominguez’s ability to dominate the Tigers early with a fastball that consistently registered in the mid-90s.
“It’s the biggest jump in pro sports,” Showalter said. “He showed he has a chance to succeed at this level.”
The Rangers pounded their way to a 12-8 win over Chicago on Saturday. Todd Greene hit a three-run homer and Jason Jones and Hank Blalock added two-run shots as Texas improved to a major league-best 11-4 in August.
The White Sox have lost four straight, slipping two games behind first-place Kansas City in the AL Central.
STANDINGS: White Sox - 2nd place, 2 GB, AL Central. Rangers - 4th place, 18 1/2 GB, AL West.
WHITE SOX PROBABLE STARTER: Neal Cotts (0-0, 7.71 ERA). Cotts also made his major league debut Tuesday. He allowed two runs and two hits while lasting just 2 1-3 innings in a 10-4 loss at Anaheim. The rookie left-hander walked six and struck out one. Cotts was 9-6 with a 2.12 ERA in 20 appearances for Double-A Birmingham this season, striking out 131 in 106 1-3 innings.
RANGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Dominguez (0-1, 7.71 ERA). Dominguez was taken out after 68 pitches in his first start, and Showalter indicated that he would not extend the rookie, who threw 131 1-3 innings in the minors this year.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: White Sox - Magglio Ordonez, .320 avg. and 76 runs; Frank Thomas, 28 HRs; Carlos Lee, 84 RBIs and 11 SBs. Rangers - Blalock, .318 avg.; Alex Rodriguez, 32 HRs, 94 runs and 16 SBs.; Rafael Palmeiro, 89 RBIs.
SEASON SERIES: Rangers, 2-0.
STREAKS AND NOTES: White Sox - Chicago is 1-5 on its seven-game road trip. … OF Lee has hit in 10 straight games. The White Sox have lost eight of nine on the road. … The White Sox have not five in a row since May 30-June 4. … Chicago has been outscored 30-15 during its four-game slide. Rangers - OF Shane Spencer remains day-to-day with a sore calf. … RHP Jeff Zimmerman is scheduled to pitch again on Monday for the Rangers’ Arizona Rookie League entry. Zimmerman retired all three batters he faced in his first appearance on Friday. He is rehabbing from ligament transplant surgery on his right elbow performed more than a year ago. … The Rangers are 5-1 on their seven-game homestand.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: White Sox - 26-38 on the road; Rangers - 34-30 at home.
INJURIES: White Sox - RHP Billy Koch (elbow), 15-day DL. Rangers - OF Juan Gonzalez (calf), 15-day DL; OF Kevin Mench (wrist), 15-day DL; RHP Chan Ho Park (rib cage, oblique), 15-day DL; RHP Ismael Valdes (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Ricardo Rodriguez (hip), 60-day DL; RHP Jeff Zimmerman (elbow), 60-day DL; INF Herbert Perry (shoulder), 60-day DL; OF Rusty Greer (neck), 60-day DL.