The Texas Rangers lost again in Chicago, falling 5-2 to the White Sox on Sunday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field. Texas has lost seven of its past eight games at The Cell.
Treading water:The Rangers held onto their 2 1/2-game lead in the American League West as the Oakland A's lost at Baltimore 10-3 on Sunday afternoon. Oakland has four games next at AL Central leader Detroit, while the Rangers head to Seattle for three games.
Garza disappoints: Matt Garza failed the Rangers in a big way Sunday. Needing a strong start with the series on the line, he had a disappointing day. He allowed two home runs and five runs in all. After the offense tied the game in the top of the fourth, Garza didn't give his team a shutdown inning, allowing the third home run of the season to Jordan Danks. Garza also gave up a solo shot to Dayan Viciedo in the seventh. Garza has allowed at least four runs in five straight starts.
Rare error hurts: Craig Gentry is as trusted an fielder as the Rangers have, but he made a critical error in the bottom of the third to cost Garza a run. Gentry misjudged a line drive to center field by Gordon Beckham and the ball clanked off of his glove and two runs scored to put the Rangers down 2-0. The first run would have scored on a sacrifice fly, as the ball was hit deep enough to score at least one.
Baker provided offense: Jeff Baker has his home run swing back. He belted a two-run home run to tie the game at 2-2 in the top of the fourth. Baker had two long balls in the three-game series, ending a 16-game homerless streak on Friday. The Rangers have 21 HRs and 59 RBIs from the first base position this season.
Beltre comes up empty: Twice Adrian Beltre batted with a runner at third and one out and didn't drive in a run. With the Rangers trailing 3-2 in the top of the fifth, Beltre had first and third with one out and lined out sharply to White Sox third baseman Jeff Keppinger, who doubled up Elvis Andrus at third base. Then with Texas trailing 4-2 and the bases loaded with one out in the seventh inning -- after Chicago shortstop Alexei Ramirez booted a double-play ball -- Beltre hit into a 5-4-3 twin killing to end the Rangers' last threat.
Ross is effective: Robbie Ross provided a positive on Sunday. He pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning, striking out Jordan Danks for the third out.
Up next: The Rangers open a three-game series on the road at Seattle and Safeco Field. The pitching matchups are: Monday, Texas left-hander Travis Blackley (1-1, 4.85 ERA) versus Seattle left-hander Joe Saunders (10-12, 4.91) at 9:10 p.m.; Saturday, left-hander Derek Holland (9-6, 2.95) versus right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma (12-6, 2.98) at 9:10 p.m.; and Sunday, left-hander Martin Perez (7-3, 3.62) versus right-hander Felix Hernandez (12-7, 2.63) at 2:40 p.m. All games are on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM.