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White Sox feast on Darvish to overcome Rangers
(Reuters) - The Chicago White Sox drew first blood in a battle between two American League division leaders with a 9-5 victory over the Texas Rangers in Arlington on Friday.
Texas held a 4-1 lead after the first inning, thanks mainly to a Nelson Cruz three-run homer, but Japanese rookie and All Star pitcher Yu Darvish (11-7) again struggled for consistency, giving up five earned runs and eight hits as the visitors rallied for a well-earned win.
"My stuff was good but overall, it wasn't a very good game," Darvish said. "Some of the balls that I gave up and hits went just through the infield. It just didn't go my way, but in the game of baseball these things happen, so you've just got to move on."
The game was in the balance through eight innings at 6-5, before the White Sox pulled away in the top of the ninth following an Alex Rios RBI double and a two-run homer over left field by Alexei Ramirez.
Chris Sale improved to 12-3 despite allowing five runs on six hits over 6 1/3 innings.
The victory in the opener of the three-game series lifted the White Sox to 54-45 and solidified their advantage in the American League Central division, while Texas slipped to 58-40 as their American League West lead was reduced to 4 1/2 games.
The White Sox are now also assured of a first season series victory over Texas since 2004 having won four straight against them for a 5-2 record.
(Reporting by Ben Everill in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien and Amlan Chakraborty)
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