Joe Nathan expected Alex Rios to be in a defensive mode. After all, it was a 1-2 count and a pitch in the dirt seemed more likely than a fastball.
So Nathan unleashed a fastball that was a little more down than he would have liked, and Rios belted it over the center field wall to break a tie game and give the Chicago White Sox a 4-3 victory on Saturday night at Rangers Ballpark.
"I have to give him credit, I didn't think he'd be looking for that pitch right there," Nathan said. "I thought if anything he'd be fighting it off in that situation. If he did put a swing on it, I didn't think it'd be that type of swing to it to go out in center field. At least I made him beat me to the deep part of the yard, and made him hit it well so hats off, he beat me tonight."
Other postgame notes from Saturday:
* Mike Napoli wasn't going to complain about a called strike in the eighth inning. Napoli had a 3-0 count, and Matt Thornton threw what appeared to be a ball high of the strike zone but it was called a strike. If it was called a ball, the Rangers would have scored the go-ahead run as the bases were loaded. "It was borderline," Napoli said. "I'm not going to complain. It was a 3-0 count and it was close enough in that situation." Napoli eventually grounded into a fielder's choice at third base and the inning ended. "It kind of cut in on me," Napoli said.
* Derek Holland had a quality start in his first outing of 2012. He allowed three runs on three hits -- with all the runs coming with two outs. Holland's biggest mishap came in the third inning when he issued a pair of two-out walks, and then gave up a two-run double to Paul Konerko.
* Offensively, Michael Young and Ian Kinsler each went 2 for 4 with a run scored. David Murphy had two doubles, and Mike Napoli had an RBI single in the second (his first hit and RBI of the season).
* Alexi Ogando had another impressive outing, working a scoreless seventh on seven pitches.
-- Drew Davison