CHICAGO (AP)—Gary Matthews Jr. figured the odds weren’t in his favor. Still, he got a good pitch to hit and took advantage of it.
The winning rally started when Chicago’s Brandon McCarthy (2-3) walked Ian Kinsler with one out on a 3-2 pitch. Jenks, the White Sox’s closer came on, and immediately threw a flat cutter. Matthews took advantage, and the Rangers won for the sixth time in eight games.
“More times than not, you’re not going to be successful against these guys,” Matthews said. “You just try to get a good pitch to hit, take your swing and see what happens.”
Jenks said, “I made a bad pitch and that’s all there is to it.”
Texas’ Brad Wilkerson hit his 11th home run—a two-run shot in the second inning. It was the 17th homer allowed by White Sox starter Jon Garland, who began the day one behind Baltimore’s Bruce Chen for the major league lead.
Matthews and Mark Teixeira had two hits apiece for the Rangers.
Garland was effective, if not spectacular, allowing three runs on five hits in 6 2-3 innings but did not figure in the decision. He left to a loud ovation after walking Matthews with the White Sox ahead 3-2.
Before the game, manager Ozzie Guillen said his starters need to pitch deeper into the game. Garland did just that, and the relievers were more effective than they were the previous night, when they allowed six runs in a 12-8 loss at Cleveland.
But the lead immediately disappeared.
Michael Young knocked the first pitch from Jeff Nelson down the left-field line for a double to drive in Matthews. Nelson then intentionally walked Teixeira, before Neal Cotts retired Hank Blalock on a fielder’s choice grounder to short.
“Since I’ve been here, it seems like this team has the ability to score runs late,” said Matthews, who signed with Texas during the 2004 season. “It’s a credit to our depth on the team. You’ve got to have that attitude that you never give up. I think we have that attitude because we know that we’re not dependent on any one player or any one hitter to get it done.”
A strength last season, the White Sox’s bullpen was 10th in the American League with a 4.63 ERA entering the game. Chicago is now 16-of-24 in save opportunities.
“It looks worse than it actually is because we’ve got 162 games, we’re not at the halfway mark yet, there’s too much season left to go,” Jenks said. “It looks bad right now because it’s everybody (struggling) at once.”
Texas starter Kameron Loe allowed three runs and 10 hits in six innings.
After losing five of seven at Toronto and Cleveland, the White Sox were glad to be back home, where they were a major league leading 19-6 before Friday’s game. But the troubles continued for the defending World Series champions.
Chicago’s Jermaine Dye extended his hitting streak to seven games with a single and double and scored a run. Tadahito Iguchi had two hits after going 4-for-23 on the trip. And Konerko, Gload and Pierzynski also had two apiece.
White Sox designated hitter Jim Thome was scratched from the lineup with a strain in the left quadriceps and adductor area, which he suffered the previous night. Guillen hopes to have the slugger back on Saturday.
“I’m not going to push this guy,” Guillen said. “I’d rather lose a game than lose him for 15 days. It sounds funny when the manager says that when (the team’s) not playing well.”
With Thome out, Konerko served as the designated hitter, Gload started at first and Pierzynski batted third. … The White Sox’s home game against the Los Angeles Angels that was rained out on May 11 was rescheduled for Aug. 7. … Rangers manager Buck Showalter said RHP Kevin Millwood, bothered by a stiff back, looked “a little better” Friday and should be ready to start against Kansas City on Tuesday. Millwood was initially scheduled to pitch on Sunday.