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American League Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, May 1st (All times eastern)
Chicago White Sox (10-15) at Texas Rangers (17-9), 8:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Chris Sale (2-2, 4.09) Texas - Nick Tepesch (2-1, 2.53)
(Sports Network) - Chris Sale looks to win a third straight decision over Texas on Wednesday evening when he takes the hill for the Chicago White Sox in the second contest of a three-game set with the Rangers.
A solid reliever over the first two seasons of his career, Sale jumped into the White Sox's rotation last year and won 17 games while posting a 3.05 earned run average. He faced the Rangers twice as a starter and won both decisions while allowing six runs and striking out 10 over 13 2/3 innings.
In the left-hander's lone career start at Rangers ballpark, he allowed five runs in 6 1/3 frames of work but escaped with a 9-5 win on July 27.
Sale snapped a two-start slide with a win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday, logging seven innings while yielding two runs on four hits and four walks. He did strike out seven batters for the third time in his five starts this year and has pitched at least seven innings in all but one of those outings.
"I think the last couple starts he's been in and out of consistency. Tonight, he worked his way through it, and in the end you're look at what you would expect from him," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
Sale, set to pitch one day after turning 24 years old, is 2-2 with a 4.09 ERA on the season.
Taking the hill for the Rangers will be rookie Nick Tepesch, who showed no ill-effects in a win last time out after leaving his previous start due to injury.
The 24-year-old recorded five outs versus the Seattle Mariners on April 20 before exiting the game after taking a line drive off his right wrist. He was able to make his next start on Thursday in Minnesota and notched his second career win by holding the Twins to a run on five hits over 6 2/3 innings. Tepesch did not walk a batter for a third straight outing and is 2-1 with a 2.53 ERA in four starts.
The right-hander will face the White Sox for the first time looking to give his club a series victory after the Rangers took Tuesday's opener 10-6.
Adrian Beltre capped a six-run sixth inning with a two-run homer, while Mitch Moreland went 3-for-3 at the plate with an RBI. Nelson Cruz and Jeff Baker added back-to-back solo homers with two outs in the fourth inning.
"We all had big games tonight," Moreland said. "Hopefully we can have a few more of them."
The offensive explosion allowed Yu Darvish to come away with a win despite allowing four runs on seven hits over six innings. Texas snapped a two-game slide and won for the eighth time in its last 11 games.
The Rangers also matched the second most wins in franchise history in the month of April with 17. They exited the month with 18 victories in 1998.
Texas catcher A.J. Pierzynski was held out of the lineup against his former team due to soreness in his oblique muscle. Pierzynski, who spent his previous eight seasons with the White Sox, could also sit out tonight, with a left- hander scheduled to take the hill for Chicago.
Dewayne Wise, after starting the season in a 2-for-22 slump, went 4-for-4 with a two-run homer while Adam Dunn added a solo shot in the White Sox's third straight loss. They have also dropped seven of their past 10.
Jose Quintana only lasted five innings after surrendering four runs on eight hits, and the Rangers immediately broke open a 4-4 game against Chicago's bullpen in the sixth.
The White Sox relievers combined to allow six runs on just four hits and three walks over three innings, with Matt Lindstrom taking the loss.
"We gave them a few extra opportunities, and those are the ones that end up biting you," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
The White Sox won six of nine meetings with Texas last season.
05/01 10:26:19 ET