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Rangers win fourth straight

The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox were hot, but the Texas Rangers still spoiled the party on Elvis Night at U.S. Cellular Field.

Despite facing ace left-hander Chris Sale, the Rangers beat the White Sox 11-5 on Friday to win their fourth game in a row and snap Chicago's six-game win streak -- which had been the longest current streak in baseball.

"We always thought we had a pretty good team," said Texas' A.J. Pierzynski, who went 1-for-4 with an RBI in his initial return to the South Side of Chicago since leaving the Sox as a free agent last winter. "We were banged up. It's not an excuse, but we've finally got guys kind of settled, we made some moves and we started playing better. It's fun. It's fun to come to the park when you know you have a chance to win."

Sale (9-12) struck out the first two hitters he faced and retired the side in order in the first. After that, it was rough sailing. The Rangers tagged him for a career-high-tying eight runs on eight hits through seven innings, including four home runs. It was Sale's worst outing since allowing eight earned runs in just 4 1/3 innings in a loss to the Cleveland Indians on April 13 at Progressive Field.

"I really have no excuses in my corner," he said. "My arm felt good, my body felt good, my mind was right. I felt like my stuff was good. Sometimes you just get beat. I think tonight was one of those nights where they were better than I was."

Texas hit five homers in all, including a hotly contested inside-the-park home run in the third by Ian Kinsler that gave the Rangers a 5-3 lead and led to White Sox manager Robin Ventura's ejection. Jeff Baker, Adam Rosales, Adrian Beltre and Mitch Moreland also went deep for the Rangers, who have won 19 of their last 23 games.

Texas (75-53) rapped out 12 hits and scored in five of Sale's seven innings, including four times in the second on a pair of two-run homers by Baker and Rosales. The Rangers also recorded a franchise first by logging an inside-the-park homer and pinch-hit home run -- by Moreland in the eighth -- in the same game.

Rosales, meanwhile, started at designated hitter because of his track record against Sale. Hitting just .190 before the game, Rosales had four career hits in seven at-bats against Sale. He finished the game 1-for-2 and drove in three runs to lead the way offensively, while Baker, Kinsler and Moreland each drove in a pair of runs.

"It was nice that we were able to jump on Sale early and put some runs on the board," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Baker and Rosales got us going and we didn't give it up. Everybody just kept grinding out at-bats against him. He's a tough pitcher. We were able to hit some balls in some holes and lot of things worked out for us tonight."

One of those fortunate bounces that worked out came off Kinsler's bat in the third, when he hit what appeared to be a double down the left-field line that rolled into foul territory. The ball got lodged underneath the padding of the wall and left-fielder Dayan Viciedo didn't see it at first.

He motioned that he couldn't find it, but the umpires didn't call the play dead and thus did not limit Kinsler to a ground-rule double. Instead, Kinsler kept running and eventually scored after Viciedo finally located the ball and made an off-target throw to the plate. Ventura eventually got tossed arguing that Kinsler should have been held to a ground-rule double.

It was an odd play on an odd night when Sale's stuff seemed good despite bad results.

"(Kinsler) did exactly what he was supposed to do, (he) kept running," Washington said. "It worked in our favor."

Martin Perez (7-3) started and earned the win by throwing seven innings and allowing four runs.

Gordon Beckham and Viciedo each drove in two runs to lead Chicago (52-75), which had just come off a seven-game road trip with six straight victories. Texas also came into the game on a roll after sweeping the Houston Astros.

The win also put the Rangers up 3 1/2 games over second-place Oakland in the American League West.

NOTES: The White Sox will host the Seventh Annual Civil Rights Game on Saturday night against the Rangers, which will be preceded on Saturday afternoon by MLB's Beacon Awards luncheon that will honor former Sox star Bo Jackson. ... Aside from Pierzynski, three other former White Sox players made a return to the South Side with the Rangers, including Alex Rios, who appeared in a Rangers' uniform for the first time since being traded in July. ... RHP Neftali Feliz and RHP Alexi Ogando are both attempting to return from injuries for the Rangers, with Feliz recovering from Tommy John surgery in 2012 by pitching in the minors and Ogando (inflamed nerve in shoulder) slated to throw a bullpen session this weekend. ... RHP Nick Tepesch (elbow inflammation) will throw live batting practice on Saturday for the Rangers, while RHP Colby Lewis had hip resurfacing surgery on Thursday in New York.

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