CHICAGO (AP)—White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen had an idea he was in trouble when Michael Young stepped to the plate with the bases loaded in the ninth inning and the score tied.
Young hit a tiebreaking, two-run single, and the Texas Rangers beat slumping Chicago 3-1 on Saturday night.
Guillen saw firsthand at the All-Star game how clutch Young can be.
“That’s the last guy you want to see on that ballclub,” Guillen said. “He is one of the most underrated players in baseball.”
Guillen managed Young on the AL All-Star team, and saw the shortstop deliver a two-run triple with two outs in the ninth inning that beat the National League 3-2.
White Sox closer Bobby Jenks (2-2) allowed Kevin Mench’s leadoff single in the ninth. Two outs later, Gary Matthews Jr. was intentionally walked, then Jenks walked Ian Kinsler to load the bases. Young followed with a single to the opposite field, scoring pinch-runner Jerry Hairston Jr. and Matthews.
Young is getting used to clutch situations.
“I don’t really think about anything. I don’t think about who has pressure. I like to be in that situation to give my team a chance to win the game,” Young said.
Buck Showalter is impressed with the approach that Young takes.
“He’s not trying to get too big,” Showalter said. “Not trying to hit a grand slam. He’s trying to give us what we need.”
The White Sox are just 1-7 since the All-Star break.
“We need to worry about ourselves and try to get a win here any way we can. We’re just not getting it done,” Jim Thome said. “Last week is over we’re thinking about (Sunday). You are going to go through those bad times. You just got to stay positive.”
Francisco Cordero (7-4) struck out Konerko and Jermaine Dye in the eighth. He ended the inning by getting Joe Crede to pop out. Akinori Otsuka pitched a scoreless ninth for his 21st save in 23 chances.
Konerko tied it in the sixth with a leadoff homer off Rangers starter Jon Koronka on a 2-2 pitch. It was his 24th of the season and ended an 0-for-11 slump.
Koronka escaped damage in the first inning. After issuing three walks, he got A.J Pierzynski to ground out with the bases loaded. Koronka threw 35 pitches in the first inning.
Koronka pitched six innings and gave up one run and three hits. He walked four with one strikeout.
“It didn’t look like he was going to be very long with the pitches he threw in the first inning,” Showalter said. “He settled down and gave us a solid effort and that shouldn’t be forgotten.”
The White Sox also failed to score after a leadoff double by Juan Uribe in the seventh inning. Rangers reliever Bryan Corey got Brian Anderson to ground out before Ron Mahay came in with Uribe on third and struck out pinch-hitter Scott Podsednik. Mahay then got Tadahito Iguchi to fly out.
Garcia pitched seven innings, allowing one run and four hits. He struck out five and hit a batter.
Dye made a diving catch after a long run on Kinsler’s ball in the first inning and another diving catch on Mark Teixeira’s ball in the same inning. … Crede made a backhanded stab on Young’s hard grounder in the fourth inning and threw him out. … The White Sox had their 27th sellout of the season, extending the franchise record.
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