ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—After struggling for much of the season, Jon Garland looked a little more like the 18-game winner he was in 2005.
Garland (5-3) gave up five hits and walked one to help the White Sox win for the sixth time in eight games.
“That’s the best I’ve seen him throw in a while,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “Everything was consistent with his pitches. He got a lot of ground balls.”
In his previous start, Garland yielded six runs and nine hits in seven innings of a 6-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers.
Of Garland’s 16 outs on Tuesday, 10 came on ground balls.
“I was focused and throwing my pitches,” the right-hander said. “Fortunately I was keeping the ball down. Those first five innings, you saw the results with the ground balls. Hopefully I can take this into my next start in Cincinnati.”
Garland began the night with a road ERA of 7.83 this season and a career ERA of 6.37 against Texas, but for the second straight game, the White Sox got a strong effort from their starter.
Jose Contreras struck out a career-high 11 and improved his record to 7-0 while giving up three runs and six hits over eight innings of Chicago’s 8-3 win over Texas on Monday night.
Garland brought a 6.19 ERA into Tuesday night’s game, but the Rangers weren’t fooled.
“I don’t care what his ERA is, he’s a tough pitcher who made the All-Star team last year,” Texas’ Michael Young said. “His slider, sinker and changeup were all working. He pitched a good game.”
Bobby Jenks got three outs for his 19th save in 20 chances, giving him 12 straight scoreless outings.
Rangers starter Kameron Loe (3-6) was the victim of Konerko’s homer, giving up five runs and six hits in five-plus innings. He struck out three and walked one.
Both starters were sharp over the first five innings, with each allowing one run.
Chicago went in front in the sixth when Tadahito Iguchi and Thome led off with singles and Konerko knocked Loe’s first pitch over the left field wall for his 17th homer and a 4-1 lead.
“He lifted the team,” Guillen said of Konerko. “That’s his job. With Thome and Konerko and Dye, you just hope that the guys in front of them can get on base.”
“It’s very frustrating,” Loe said. “You can be pitching a good ball game, give up a couple little hits and a home run and it turns into a bad game.”
Young’s RBI double in the sixth knocked out Garland, but with runners on second and third and one out, reliever Neal Cotts struck out Mark Teixeira and got Hank Blalock to ground out to keep the score at 5-2.
Chicago has won two straight on the road after losing 10 of its previous 15. The defending World Series champs, 16-14 away from home, were 52-29 on the road last season, best in the majors. …Texas has lost five of seven. … In the eighth, Rangers reliever Scott Feldman was hit in the right forearm by Crede’s line drive and was removed from the game. Feldman was able to walk off the field and the club later said the forearm was bruised. X-rays were negative and he’s listed as day-to-day. After pinballing off of Feldman, the ball bounced toward first base where Teixeira fielded it and tagged Crede, but the ball popped out of Teixeira’s glove and Crede had a hit.