Unexpected power carries White Sox to unexpected series win


If the Texas Rangers lose out on their bid for the AL West crown, they will have at least four regrettable reasons why. Expensive trade deadline rental pickup Matt Garza was tuned up for five runs (four earned) over seven innings by the much-maligned White Sox offense, who claimed their fourth victory in six games this season against Texas, and their 11th win in 14 games with a 5-2 triumph on Sunday.

A result more typical of the tragic tone the 2013 season has taken seemed imminent in the fourth. Jeff Baker knotted the game at 2 with a bristling line drive into the right field bullpen–Danks’ 23rd allowed in just 117 innings and Baker’s fourth blast against the Sox this season–that Avisail Garcia pursued to a fault, crashing headlong into top post of the wall and leaving the game after a groggy march in from the outfield.

His replacement Jordan Danks, a man who can only know the prospect glimmer that surrounds Garcia from his memories, stepped in and promptly broke the tie in the bottom half of the inning with a solo shot hit in the same direction as Baker’s blast but farther, so as to not draw Alex Rios into a similarly gruesome fate.

Taking advantage of his new, shift-free existence, Adam Dunn extended the White Sox lead in the sixth by lifting a ball over the outstretched glove of fill-in first basemen Adam Rosales to score Alexei Ramirez from second. Last night’s hero Josh Phegley capped the scoring and the afternoon full of guys who haven’t been hitting much of anything hitting home runs by greeting a cement-mixer slider from Garza with extreme cruelty, taking it out to the third row of the left field bleachers.

John Danks treated five runs of support like the treasure it was–even if some of it was gifted by Texas when centerfielder Craig Gentry let a Gordon Beckham line drive skip off his glove in the third inning, plating two runs. Danks dragged through his second consecutive quality start and lowered his ERA to 4.15 with six innings of work. He struck out five and only walked one, but with eight hits on his tab, some help was needed. Back-to-back singles from Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar in the fifth brought up the fearsome Adrian Beltre, who lined a bullet down the third base line. Shading toward that direction, Jeff Keppinger fell over and snagged the ball of the ground, and staggered to third to double off a shocked Andrus and end the threat.

After an Alexei Ramirez error loaded the bases on Matt Lindstrom in the seventh, Keppinger got Adrian Beltre again, gathering his grounder and starting another inning-ending double play. Robin Ventura rigidly stuck to his playoff drive bullpen trio of Lindstom, Nate Jones and Addison Reed for a scoreless final three innings, and the White Sox continue to win with spirited play, which they evidently view as more beneficial to their long-term future than enduring the full force of some growing pains.

-Despite appearances, Garcia was concluded to not have suffered a concussion in his collision with the wall.

-Bench coach Mark Parent found some way to get ejected by umpire Jerry Layne while exchanging lineup cards before the first pitch.

-Ramirez’s error in the seventh inning means he’s finally set a new career-high with 21.

-The two teams combined to go 1-15 with runners in scoring position. Texas went hitless.

Team Record: 54-75

Box Score

Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan