ARLINGTON – They misjudged fly balls. They didn’t hold runners on base. They had passed balls and wild pitches. They let an early three-run lead slip away.
It was that type of night for the Texas Rangers.
Despite the seemingly endless night of miscues, the Rangers stayed within striking distance until the ninth. That’s when the White Sox pulled away for what became a 9-5 victory to open a three-game series at Rangers Ballpark.
The White Sox took a 1-0 lead in the first. Kevin Youkilis drew a walk, moved to second on a single by Adam Dunn on a fly ball that Josh Hamilton misplayed and scored two batters later on a sacrifice fly by Alex Rios.
The Rangers countered with four runs in the bottom half, highlighted by Nelson Cruz’s three-run home run.
That 4-1 lead wouldn’t stand for long, though.
The White Sox scored a pair of runs on a home run by Youkilis in the second, and rallied for a 5-4 lead with two more runs in the fourth on Alejandro De Aza’s two-run single.
Each team scored single runs in the seventh, but the Rangers had a chance for more. With one out and the bases loaded, Hamilton drove in a run with a groundout. Adrian Beltre then drew a walk to load the bases again, but Michael Young ended the inning by flying out to right.
Hamilton went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts and two RBIs, and was booed by the fans after the strikeouts. Hamilton has been mired in a two-month slump, and is 7 for his last 59 over 16 games.
With a 6-5 lead going into the ninth, the White Sox cushioned it with three runs off Alexi Ogando. Rios had an RBI double followed by a two-run homer by Alexei Ramirez.
-- Drew Davison