A night after a 19-2 drubbing at the hands of the Chicago White Sox in the series opener, the Rangers put up some fireworks early in the middle game of the three-game set. The problem is you have to play nine innings… and sometimes more. Kevin Youkilis continued his tear as a member of the White Sox with a walk-off RBI single in the 10th inning to give Chicago a 5-4 victory over the Rangers on July 4, 2012.
A 3-0 lead is great. The problem: Scott Feldman was on the mound for Texas. The White Sox put up a four spot in the second courtesy of two singles, two doubles and a hit by pitch, culminated by a 2-RBI single from Gordon Beckham.
The Rangers wouldn’t wait long to tie the game up. In the top of the third, Josh Hamilton crushed his 26th home run of the season, a solo shot off Chicago starter Dylan Axelrod, to tie the game at four. After that blast, both pitchers would settle in.
Feldman ended up pitching six full innings, just his second time getting through six innings this season. Scooter ended up with a no decision after giving up four runs on six hits, striking out four and walking just one. Axelrod lasted 5 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on seven hits, picking up a no decision as well.
The score would remain tied at 4 until the tenth inning. Mike Adams pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth but ran into trouble in the bottom of the tenth. After allowing a lead-off walk to Alejandro De Aza, who then stole second base, Youkilis ripped an RBI single to left field to bring in the winning run and a 5-4 White Sox win. Youkilis finished the game 2-4 and is now 5-10 with five RBIs in the first two games of this series.
Wednesday’s defeat marks the first series in the last eight that the Rangers (50-32) have lost. The Angels also lost (12-3 to Cleveland) so the lead in the AL West remains at five games. Matt Harrison (11-3, 3.16) will toe the rubber on Thursday afternoon to try to help the Rangers avoid the sweep. This will be Harrison’s last start in the first half before he makes his first appearance in the All-Star game on Tuesday night. The All-Star spot is well deserved for Harrison who is 7-0 in his last eight starts while giving up three runs or less in all eight. He will be opposed by rookie lefty Jose Quintana (3-1, 2.19). Quintana got the win last time out despite giving up six runs in six innings against the Yankees. However he was much better in the two starts before that, throwing eight shutout innings in each, but picking up no decisions in both. Go figure.
It’ll be the Rangers and White Sox on Thursday from U.S. Cellular Field with first pitch scheduled for 1:10 pm CT.