CHICAGO – Before the game, everybody in the Rangers clubhouse insisted that an overnight flight and lack of sleep would not be an excuse for anything that went wrong in the field.
For the first few innings, though, that seemed like an overriding reason. The first five batters were retired in order, and they were held hitless for 3 2/3 innings. And the White Sox capitalized, taking an early lead.
The Rangers eventually woke up with a four-run fourth to take a lead, and never trailed after that en route to a 7-4 victory over the White Sox on Friday night at U.S. Cellular Field. The Rangers maintained at least a six-game lead over the Angels in the American League West.
Mitch Moreland belted two home runs, his third career multi-homer game. Josh Hamilton also went deep for Texas.
The White Sox took an early lead against Rangers starter Matt Harrison. Carlos Quentin and Alexei Ramirez had RBI hits in the first. In the second, Brent Morel led off with a triple and scored on a sacrifice bunt by Juan Pierre to give the White Sox a 3-0 lead.
But the Rangers rallied for four runs in the fourth. With two outs, Michael Young got it started with a single. Nelson Cruz followed with an RBI double, Mike Napoli walked and then Moreland belted a three-run shot over the center field wall.
The White Sox tied it at 4-4 in the fifth, knocking out Harrison. Harrison had his shortest outing since June 7, lasting only 4 1/3 innings. But the Rangers bullpen came through with 4 2/3 scoreless innings.
Yoshinori Tateyama threw 2 2/3 innings of relief, Mike Adams pitched a perfect ninth and Neftali Feliz closed it out for his 25th save.
The offense had pulled away with three runs in the sixth. Hamilton led off with a solo shot, and Moreland added a two-run blast to give the Rangers a 7-4 lead.
-- Drew Davison