ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—The Chicago White Sox are surging, and there could be more to come if their starting pitchers continue to pitch well.
Buehrle (7-4) won for the first time since May 24, allowing two runs and six hits. He struck out two and walked one for the defending World Series champs, who have won seven of their last 10.
“That’s why they’re wearing (World Series) rings,” Rangers manager Buck Showalter said of Chicago’s rotation. “The five guys they throw out there, runs are going to be at a premium. The common denominator is they’re strike-throwers.”
Buehrle improved to 8-2 lifetime against Texas after losing his previous two starts against the Rangers. He retired 12 straight from the second through the sixth before Ian Kinsler’s one-out single.
Buehrle isn’t the hardest thrower, and against the Rangers he relied on his off-speed pitches to keep Texas hitters off-balance.
“It seems like the harder I throw, the straighter the ball goes,” Buehrle said. “I wanted to rely on my movement. I think it worked.”
Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen was pleased to see Buehrle pitch much better than he did in his previous start against Texas on June 4, when he gave up six runs and nine hits in seven innings of a 10-2 Rangers victory.
“If you don’t have your best stuff against this team, you’ll walk out with a loss,” Guillen said. “Buehrle was aggressive and located his pitches well.”
The White Sox, who remain 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Detroit Tigers in the AL Central, won three times in the four-game series. Chicago got strong starting pitching from Buehrle, Jose Contreras and Jon Garland in its victories over Texas.
“If we pitch the way I think we’re going to pitch, it’ll be a matter of time before we start playing better,” Guillen said. “We’re not a bad ballclub right now. If we follow each other and continue to pitch the way we’ve been pitching lately, we’ll be even better.”
The Rangers, who have lost four of six, fell out of first place in the AL West for the first time since May 19. Texas is a half-game behind the Oakland Athletics, 9-6 winners over Seattle earlier Thursday.
But Showalter isn’t too concerned about falling out of first in mid-June.
“The standings are what we’re judged by,” Showalter said. “Oakland’s playing real well right now. But there’s a long way to go.”
Uribe’s solo homer in the third on a hanging changeup from rookie starter John Rheinecker (2-1) gave Chicago the lead.
The White Sox had seven hits in the fourth, making it 5-0 on Joe Crede’s RBI single, Uribe’s run-scoring double and Ozuna’s two-run bloop single just past the outstretched glove of first baseman Mark Teixeira.
Rheinecker, who had allowed five runs in three starts since he was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma on May 29, was knocked around by the White Sox for five runs and 11 hits in four-plus innings.
“They had four or five broken-bat hits that found some holes,” Rheinecker said. “Other than that, I threw the ball all right.”
Konerko’s RBI single in the sixth off Joaquin Benoit made it 6-0.
In the sixth, Michael Young’s RBI groundout and Teixeira’s run-scoring double pulled Texas to 6-2. But Uribe’s suicide squeeze in the seventh and Thome’s 435-foot shot onto the grass embankment in center in the eighth gave Chicago an 8-2 lead.
Thome has 452 homers, tying Carl Yastrzemski for 29th on the career list. … Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani was the guest of Rangers owner Tom Hicks in Hicks’ first-base box. Giuliani was in Dallas for a speaking engagement. … Every Chicago starter had at least one hit. … The Rangers had three doubles, pushing their total to 164, best in the majors. They have at least two doubles in 14 of the last 15 games. … Chicago’s Jermaine Dye struck out swinging to end a 13-pitch at-bat in the fifth against Benoit. … Young’s 13-game hitting streak ended.