CHICAGO -- Roy Oswalt had made 328 major league starts prior to Tuesday night, and there have been a couple of forgettable ones along the way.
But nothing compared to the pounding the White Sox handed him and the Rangers at U.S. Cellular Field. Oswalt gave up the most runs in his career as the White Sox drilled balls all over the field and out of the stadium in a 19-2 victory to open a three-game series between two American League division leaders.
It was the worst loss of the season for the Rangers, who hit the halfway mark 50-31.
"We got thoroughly beat tonight," manager Ron Washington said. "We just couldn't stop the offense."
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Oswalt struggled from the moment he took the mound.
Alejandro De Aza led off with a single to left, and Kevin Youkilis and Adam Dunn then belted consecutive home runs. Two batters later, Alex Rios sent a solo shot over the left-center field wall.
Oswalt had allowed three homers in an inning once before in his career.
But it didn't stop there.
The White Sox added three more runs in the second. De Aza had a one-out triple, and Youkilis, Dunn and Paul Konerko followed with consecutive run-scoring hits.
Oswalt said he fought his mechanics early in the game, but got them together for scoreless third and fourth innings. He couldn't get through the fifth, though.
He gave up a two-run, one-out single to Alexei Ramirez, and Gordon Beckham popped up. Oswalt appeared to induce an inning-ending grounder by De Aza, but second baseman Ian Kinsler booted it for his 12th error of the season.
Oswalt was done after that, throwing 112 pitches.
"They hit pitches that were over the plate," Oswalt said. "I knew they'd come out swinging because I threw a lot of strikes in my last start. When I missed, they hit it."
In the end, he gave up career highs in runs (11) and earned runs (nine), and matched his career-high in hits (13).
He also allowed 13 hits in his previous start against Detroit, but minimized the damage to five runs that night. He downplayed the notion that he had to adjust to AL lineups and ballparks.
Oswalt had seen a few of the White Sox batters before in the 2005 World Series, and had faced the Tigers' Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera when they were in the National League.
Oswalt also said there were no physical issues.
"I feel better and better every time out there," Oswalt said. "My stamina and velocity are coming back. I've just got to get the ball down a little more."
Oswalt's replacement, Yoshinori Tateyama, didn't fare much better.
The first six batters he faced after Kinsler's error all reached, on five hits and a walk. The biggest blow was a three-run homer by A.J. Pierzynski.
Seven of the nine runs the White Sox scored were unearned in the fifth. And starting pitcher Chris Sale had a breeze.
He didn't allow a hit until the fourth inning, and gave up one run on five hits -- all singles -- in 71/3 innings.
"He pounded the strike zone and changed speeds really well," Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba said. "You've got to give him credit; he's obviously one of the better lefties in the game right now."
Texas avoided its second shutout of the season in the eighth. Elvis Andrus had a two-out, two-run double, with one run charged to Sale and the other to reliever Brian Omogrosso.
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760