The Texas Rangers’ offense has been the main catalyst in their recent resurgence, and never was that more apparent than in their last victory. Fresh off their most explosive offensive performance in over five years, the Rangers attempt to remain locked in at the plate when they host the Chicago White Sox on Sunday for the finale of their four-game series.
Texas has rolled throughout the majority of the first nine contests of its 10-game homestand, going 7-2 while averaging 7.6 runs after drawing seven walks to go along with a season-high 20 hits - including four homers - in Saturday’s 17-7 rout of the White Sox. Rougned Odor delivered two of the blasts and joined teammate Mike Napoli with five RBIs as the Rangers scored their highest amount of runs in a game since putting up 18 against Boston on April 17, 2012. Texas remained 1 1/2 games behind Minnesota and the Los Angeles Angels for the second wild-card spot in the American League, while Chicago lost for the sixth time in seven contests after edging the Rangers 4-3 on Friday. Jose Abreu extended his hitting streak to eight games after a four-hit effort on Saturday - finishing a double shy of the cycle - and is batting .486 during his surge.
TV: 3:05 p.m. ET, CSN Chicago, FSN Southwest (Texas)
PITCHING MATCHUP: White Sox RH Miguel Gonzalez (6-10, 4.67 ERA) vs. Rangers RH A.J. Griffin (6-3, 5.07)
Gonzalez more than held his own on the road against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday, settling for a no-decision after permitting only one run on five hits and three walks across six innings. With the exception of a dreadful performance at Boston on Aug. 3, the 33-year-old is 2-1 with a 1.89 ERA in his other five turns since coming off the disabled list in mid-July. Adrian Beltre is 3-for-15 against Gonzalez, who is 2-3 with a 4.54 ERA in six starts versus the Rangers.
Griffin improved to 2-1 with a 3.32 ERA in three starts since returning from the disabled list with Tuesday’s win over Detroit, a triumph in which he gave up one run and five hits in as many frames. The University of San Diego product only has taken three of his 11 turns this season at home, but he generally has been ineffective in Arlington, posting a 6.08 ERA. Griffin hasn’t faced the White Sox since losing his only career start against them in 2013.
1. Beltre went 2-for-3 on Saturday and has 3,022 career hits - one short of tying Hall-of-Famer Lou Brock for 25th place on the all-time list.
2. Chicago 2B Yoan Moncada was a late scratch with shin splints and is day-to-day.
3. Texas scored six runs in both the third and fourth inning on Saturday, marking the first time they plated that many runs in two frames in the same game since 2007.
PREDICTION: Rangers 4, White Sox 3