Mazara (5 RBIs) leads Rangers past White Sox
ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texas Rangers are red hot on offense, and no one is doing more than Nomar Mazara.
The outfielder showed that again Thursday night as he helped Texas rally for a 9-8 win over the Chicago White Sox.
Mazara went 2-for-4 with a homer and five RBIs as the Rangers (60-60) reached the .500 mark for the first time since July 15 with their fourth consecutive victory.
Chicago (45-73) dropped its fifth straight despite jumping out to a 4-0 lead.
Mazara’s three-run homer fueled a four-run fifth as the Rangers matched their largest comeback of the season.
“When you put the ball in play, like I said before, good things are going to happen,” said Mazara, who has 13 RBIs in the first seven games of the Rangers’ homestand. “I just come up there, stick to my approach and try to put a good swing on the ball.
“We didn’t panic. We take it at-bat to at-bat. We’ve got nine innings we’ve got to play. We keep the lineup moving. We’ve got good at-bats and good things happening.”
Texas trailed 5-4 after four innings on a night when neither Texas starter Tyson Ross nor Chicago starter Reynaldo Lopez (0-1) made it out of the fifth inning.
Lopez exited after 4 1/3 innings with soreness on his right side after giving up a single to Elvis Andrus. Right-hander Chris Beck came on and was hit by a liner from Adrian Beltre that was then thrown away by second baseman Yoan Moncada, allowing Shin-Soo Choo to score and tie the game.
Mazara followed that with a three-run homer — his 16th of the season — to put the Rangers up 8-4.
The White Sox cut the deficit to two in the seventh inning on run-scoring hits from Tim Anderson and Omar Narvaez, but the Rangers blunted that when Brett Nicholas drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the inning to push the Texas lead back to 9-7.
That was pivotal as Jose Abreu led off the ninth with a solo homer off Texas closer Alex Claudio. However, Claudio worked around another hit to record his sixth save and make a winner out of Austin Bibens-Dirkx (4-2), who worked 1 2/3 hitless innings in relief of Ross.
Ross walked six and allowed five runs (three earned) in 4 1/3 innings. He was bailed out by an offense that had eight hits and drew a season-high nine walks.
“That’s the confidence in our offense, kind of how they’re going right now,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said. “The nine walks, being patient in a lot of the at-bats, and then capitalizing.
“Obviously, Mazara is swinging the bat very well. Elvis, (Rougned) Odor chipped in, Nicholas came up big for us tonight as well. Up and down the lineup, kind of pushing the at-bats along. Again, I think with 18 baserunners tonight, continue that kind of process, you’re going to score some runs. There is some confidence in this offense right now.”
The White Sox had that confidence early. Moncada hit a homer in the first inning. Chicago added three more in the top of the third on a two-run single from Abreu and a single to left by Yolmer Sanchez.
But Lopez, who struck out six, couldn’t keep the Rangers from getting back in the game. He had some pain in his right side when he woke up Friday but tried to pitch through it with his changeup.
“That was my plan for today,” said Lopez, who allowed six runs (five earned). “They are a very aggressive team, and I was trying to change their rhythm a little bit with the changeup.”
Texas got back in the game against him on a two-run homer from Nicholas with one out in the third. Five batters later, Mazara dumped a two-run single to center with the bases loaded to tie the game at 4.
“All in all, I think we were just trying to get through it,” Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. “Guys kept playing, kept chipping away. We fell a little short.”
Chicago finished with 10 hits. Leury Garcia, Abreu and Sanchez each had two.
NOTES: White Sox OF Avisail Garcia was a late scratch because of left wrist soreness. Alen Hanson replaced him in the lineup and went 0-for-4. ... Texas LHP Jake Diekman, who has missed the entire season since having his colon removed, worked a perfect inning for Double-A Frisco in his first rehab appearance. ... Chicago DH Nicky Delmonico had his 11-game hitting streak snapped with a 0-for-4 night.