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(Friday, July 27th)
Final Score: Chicago 9, Texas 5
Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - In a matchup of two of the premier young pitchers in the American League, Chris Sale outdueled Yu Darvish and the White Sox beat the Rangers, 9-5, in the opener of a three-game set.
Neither pitcher was overly dominant on Friday, but Sale (12-3) bounced back well from a four-run first inning as he limited the Rangers to just one run over the next five-plus frames.
The 23-year-old left-hander scattered six hits and walked just one while striking out six over 6 1/3 innings to improve to 7-1 on the road this season.
"I didn't have the best stuff but fortunately for us we came out and swung the (heck) out of the bats," said Sale.
Kevin Youkilis and Alexei Ramirez each smacked two-run homers, while Alejandro De Aza added a two-run single to help the White Sox secure their fourth consecutive victory.
Darvish (11-7) labored through 6 1/3 innings as he surrendered six runs -- five earned -- on eight hits and three walks with six strikeouts to take his third loss in his last four starts.
Nelson Cruz belted a three-run shot in the first inning, but the Rangers lost for the third time in their last five games.
The White Sox were able to get to Darvish in the first, despite having never faced the 25-year-old Japanese import.
Youkilis worked a one-out walk before Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko stroked consecutive singles to load the bases. Alex Rios then lifted a sacrifice fly into left field to score Youkilis.
Texas countered with a four-run bottom half. Ian Kinsler was hit by a pitch to start the frame, stole second and then moved to third on a groundout. Josh Hamilton followed with a sac fly to plate Kinsler.
Adrian Beltre and Michael Young then clubbed back-to-back singles to set the table for Cruz, who crushed a fastball the other way into the right-center field bleachers to give the Rangers a 4-1 edge.
"I feel like we let him get away, especially when we came back in the bottom of the first and put up four runs," said Rangers manager Ron Washington of his club against Sale. "After that inning he put up some zeros after that. He stepped up."
Chicago got a pair back in the second as Gordon Beckham singled with one out and Youkilis followed two batters later with a two-out, two-run blast over the wall in center field to bring the ChiSox within 4-3.
"Just threw a pitch to Youkilis right down the middle in an 0-2 count and he didn't miss it," said Washington of Youkilis' homer.
The White Sox then jumped in front in the fourth as Tyler Flowers slapped a one-out single to third that Beltre couldn't handle before Beckham followed with a double to left. De Aza then poked a single the other way through the hole on the right side to plate Flowers and Beckham for a 5-4 advantage.
Chicago added an insurance run in the seventh as a one-out walk to Dunn chased Darvish from the game. Alexi Ogando entered and drilled Konerko before Rios' fielder's choice groundout plated Dunn for a 6-4 lead.
Sale walked Yorvit Torrealba to start the seventh before Craig Gentry lifted a fly ball into shallow center field. Ramirez backtracked from shortstop and De Aza charged from center and the two collided going for the ball.
Left fielder Dayan Viciedo alertly fired to second to get the force out, but De Aza was forced to leave the game with a left hand injury as Jordan Danks came on to man center field in his place.
Nate Jones then entered for Sale and drilled Kinsler before walking Elvis Andrus to load the bases. Matt Thornton came on and induced a fielder's choice groundout from Hamilton, but Gentry scored on the play to bring the Rangers within 6-5.
Chicago then added three runs in the ninth to build some breathing room as Dunn worked a one-out walk and scored two batters later on Rios' double. Ramirez then crushed a slider over the wall in left field to give the White Sox a 9-5 advantage.
Sale earned a victory over the Rangers on July 3 after giving up one run on five hits over 7 1/3 innings in his first career start against Texas...Chicago catcher A.J. Pierzynksi sat out for the third straight night with a mild oblique strain...Chicago had lost its last five road games...Darvish is now 7-2 in nine home starts this season.
07/28 03:00:22 ET