Morel hit a tying three-run homer with two out in the fifth inning and the White Sox went on to a sorely needed 4-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.
“He need and we need that one just to wake up,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “After that home run, I think we obviously come alive a little bit.”
Gordon Beckham(notes) sparked the winning rally with a leadoff walk in the eighth. Beckham made it all the way to third on pinch-hitter Dallas McPherson’s one-out single and scored when Cody Eppley(notes) (1-1) bounced his first pitch to Alexei Ramirez(notes).
“It was nice to get that one out of the way,” a grinning McPherson said.
The White Sox (18-25) were coming off a listless 4-0 loss to Colby Lewis(notes) and the Rangers on Monday night and had dropped 10 of their past 11 games at U.S. Cellular Field. They were in big trouble again before Morel drove a 1-2 pitch from Matt Harrison(notes) over the wall in left-center for his first homer of the season.
“Luckily, I got a fastball over the plate. Mistake pitch, so fortunate enough to get that one,” Morel said.
Endy Chavez(notes) had two hits and reached four times for Texas, which has dropped eight of its past 11 road games. Michael Young(notes) singled in the eighth to extend his road hitting streak to a career-best 17 games.
“Tonight we just didn’t get the big knock,” Young said. “It’s all right, we’ve been doing it the last week or so. We’ll be all right.”
The Rangers, missing injured sluggers Josh Hamilton(notes) and Nelson Cruz(notes), employed a patient approach as Danks struggled to find the strike zone. They walked five times in the first four innings, with each playing a key role in their three runs.
Chavez walked and scored on Ian Kinsler’s(notes) double play grounder in the first. Mike Napoli(notes), Yorvit Torrealba(notes) and Craig Gentry(notes) walked with two out in the second, and shortstop Ramirez misplayed Chavez’s bouncer for a run-scoring error. David Murphy(notes) started the fourth with a walk and eventually came around to score on Torrealba’s sacrifice fly.
Texas entered the game with 124 walks, 11th in the American League.
Danks eventually settled down, working out of a jam in the fifth and retiring seven of his last nine batters. The left-hander matched a career high with six walks in all, but allowed just two earned runs and four hits over 6 1-3 innings.
“They didn’t hit me very much because there wasn’t many pitches to hit,” Danks said. “I don’t have a reason or I don’t know why the first couple innings went the way they did. … Like I said, I’m glad I was able to stay out of the way and let B-Mo and these guys do what they did.”
Danks, who had dropped his previous five starts, remains winless in six decisions one year after he set a career high with 15 victories.
Harrison pitched seven effective innings, allowing three hits. He struck out six and walked four.
“It’s definitely frustrating,” Harrison said. “I felt good the whole game. The fact of the matter is I walked too many people tonight. Even though I made the mistake to Morel, if I make that mistake without the walks, 3-1 ballgame. That was the whole key to the game.”
NOTES: Hamilton (broken bone in upper right arm) took early batting practice, then returned to Texas to be evaluated by team physician Dr. Keith Meister. If Meister clears him, the AL MVP will play two rehab games at Double-A Frisco starting Wednesday, then three with Triple-A Round Rock. … McPherson has been hampered by back problems for much of his career. … Chicago RHPs Gavin Floyd(notes) and Phil Humber(notes) will switch spots in the rotation this week. Floyd will start Thursday’s game against Cleveland, while Humber is slated to go on Friday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://twitter.com/jcohenap