CHICAGO -- It turned out to be a fitting game for a special night in the Windy City.
Josh Phegley laced a line-drive single to left field off Tanner Scheppers to score Avisail Garcia in the bottom of the ninth to end it, giving the Chicago White Sox a 3-2 victory against the Texas Rangers in the seventh annual Civil Rights Game at U.S. Cellular Field.
Garcia got the rally started for the Sox (53-75) by singling to right field for his lone hit of the game, which extended his hitting streak to 11 games. He dashed to third on a two-out single by Dayan Viciedo and scored when Phegley drilled a 97-mph fastball by Scheppers into left field for the walk-off win.
Nate Jones (4-4) picked up the victory in relief, while Scheppers (5-2) took the loss.
Texas had a four-game winning streak snapped, but more importantly for the Rangers (75-54) was an injury to center fielder Leonys Martin, who left the game in the ninth after colliding with leftfielder David Murphy on a shallow fly out by Paul Konerko. Martin, who leads off for Texas, appeared to twist his right ankle while trying to avoid Murphy, who caught the ball.
Former White Sox rightfielder Alex Rios shifted to centerfield, but it will be interesting to see what Texas manager Ron Washington will do if Martin misses extended time.
Yu Darvish and Hector Santiago both posted quality starts, but neither factored into the decision. Darvish went seven innings and struck out 11, but had to work out of some tight spots because he gave up six hits and walked three. Santiago also had control issues. He walked three and also hit three batters, but his six strikeouts helped negate a couple of potential rallies.
Both sides exchanged two-run homers in the sixth for the game's first runs. Rios hit the first one, which he smoked 415 feet to left off Santiago for a 2-0 lead. The guy he used to hit in front of in Chicago, Adam Dunn, returned the favor in the bottom half of the inning off Darvish to tie it at 2-2, sending a liner over the fence the opposite way in left.
In the seventh, the teams matched each other again -- only this time it
wasn't in runs scored. Instead, both watched golden opportunities to break the tie go by the wayside by stranding two runners each.
Both starters posted zeroes through the first half of the game, with both getting out of a couple of tough spots unscathed. Santiago escaped a bases-loaded jam in the second by striking out Jurickson Profar -- after hitting two batters to create the situation -- while Darvish needed a controversial call in his favor to keep the White Sox off the board in the fourth.
Alexei Ramirez was thrown out at the plate by Craig Gentry while trying to score from second on Konerko's single to left.
Replays, however, appeared to show that Ramirez got his lead foot and trailing foot across the plate before the tag was applied by former Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski. Chicago manager Robin Ventura -- who was ejected arguing a call on Friday night -- hopped out of the dugout to argue with home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt.
He didn't get thrown out of the game this time, but still lost the debate. Darvish, meanwhile, got back into a groove in the fifth -- striking out the side despite allowing a walk.
NOTES: Prior to the game, MLB Beacon Award winner Bo Jackson and former Detroit Tigers star Willie Horton addressed the crowd as part of the Civil Rights Game festivities. Horton was accepting the Beacon Award for friend and musical star Aretha Franklin, who couldn't attend for medical reasons. ... Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson and Billy Williams also attended the game and spoke at the Civil Rights Game banquet earlier in the day held at the Marriott in downtown Chicago. ... Also honored in the pre-game Civil Rights Game festivities were former Negro Leagues pitcher Ernie Westfield, former Negro Leaguer and White Sox legend Minnie Minoso, Jackie Robinson's
daughter, Sharon Robinson, and Larry Doby Jr. ... Texas manager Ron Washington attended the banquet and enjoyed rubbing shoulders with the likes of Aaron, Williams and Robinson. "I loved it," he said. "It was quite an experience being around all of those Hall of Famers and listening to their stories that they had to tell ... and they love to tell them." ... Rangers RHP Nick Tepesch (elbow inflammation) threw a round of live batting practice before the game and reported no pain. He will begin a rehab assignment on Tuesday with Double-A Frisco. ... Texas hopes to get 1B/DH Lance Berkman (hip inflammation, knee pain) out to a rehab stint before the minor league season ends in early September. ... Rangers RHP Alexi Ogando played catch from 60 feet and reported no problems.