Rangers Complete Sweep of White Sox

Rangers White Sox
(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

Rangers 5, White Sox 3

ARLINGTON, Tex. (Aug 3) — The Texas Rangers completed their sweep of the Chicago White Sox, winning 5–3 on Thursday afternoon. They were aided by solo homers by Mitch Garver and Marcus Semien. This was the seventh three-game sweep for the Rangers this year and an important one as they continue to fend off the Houston Astros atop the AL West. From here, the Rangers begin a three-game set against the Miami Marlins on Friday at Globe Life Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm Central. Left-hander Jesus Luzardo (8–5, 3.38 ERA) will take the mound for the Marlins. The Rangers will counter with one of their newest acquisitions in lefty Jordan Montgomery (6–9, 3.42 ERA).

White Sox Strike Early

The White Sox greeted Rangers starter Max Scherzer with a rude welcome, as they put three runs on the board in the top of the first. Already at 21 pitches on the afternoon, Scherzer walked Yasmani Grandal with the bases loaded. That allowed Tim Anderson to trot home from third. Two batters later, Andrew Benintendi scored on a single to left by Gavin Sheets. After the dust settled, the Rangers fought back in the bottom of the second. Josh H. Smith plated Josh Jung on a double to left to make it 3–1.

In the bottom of the third, Adolis Garcia drove in Semien with a single to left. The Rangers tied it one inning later on a solo home run to left-center by Garver. This was the seventh homer of the season for Garver, and it marked the 200th RBI of his career. Three batters later, Semien broke the 3–3 tie with a solo home run to left. It was his 17th long ball of the season.

Sherzday

Scherzer earned the win and posted a quality start in his Rangers debut on Thursday. He now owns a record of 10–4 with an ERA of 4.04. His line on the afternoon was 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R-ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 105 pitches/70 strikes. He came one shy of matching his season-high of 10 strikeouts, which he did on June 7 against the Atlanta Braves as a member of the New York Mets. It was the most by any pitcher in his Rangers debut since Jamie Moyer on April 8, 1989 against the Toronto Blue Jays (13 K). Thursday’s quality start was Scherzer’s 10th in 2023 and 284th of his career. That ties him with Luis Tiant for 52nd-most in major league history. Will Smith came in to pitch the ninth and recorded his 19th save of the season.

White Sox starter Touki Toussaint had an early three-run lead but exited trailing 4–3 in the sixth. His line was 5 1/3 IP, 5 H, 4 R-ER, 4 BB, 9 K, 2 HR, 98 pitches/59 strikes. He took his fourth loss of the year despite recording a season-high nine strikeouts. Toussaint gave up the Rangers’ two home runs after having allowed two homers in his first nine games of the season. His record is now 1–4 with an ERA of 3.92. The Rangers’ fifth and final run was given up by righty Gregory Santos.

Strikeout Artists

Thursday marks the third consecutive game in which a Rangers starting pitcher recorded nine-plus strikeouts. Andrew Heaney struck out 11 on Tuesday. Dane Dunning also posted 11 on Wednesday, and Scherzer had nine in the series finale against the White Sox. This signals the first time the Rangers have had three straight starts of nine-plus strikeouts since March 31-April 3, 2013 when Matt Harrison (9 K), Yu Darvish (14 K), and Alexi Ogando (10 K) accomplished the feat in the first three games of the 2013 season.

Postgame Comments

After the game, Rangers manager Bruce Bochy fielded questions about Scherzer’s performance. He said, “I saw the same thing everyone else did. He couldn’t have had worse luck there early on. Every ball that was hit off him found holes. I think he gave up seven hits and six of them found holes. It just shows you how tough he is, and what a great competitor he is. He logged a lot of pitches that first inning, but he regrouped, reset, and he went out there and gave us six solid innings. He got the win and it was fun to watch him compete.” Bochy then focused on the offense by saying, “Their guy was throwing well, but we kept chipping away and we added a couple long balls. Mitch (Garver) had a good day. We really battled and found a way to win a ballgame.”

Shortly after Bochy exited, Scherzer took his seat in the interview room. In a louder voice than many were expecting, he went over his Rangers debut with the media. He said, “Life is easy when you can go seven or eight innings. It’s great when things break your way, but you also learn a lot about yourself when things don’t break your way. Those guys were getting a lot of hits off me to start, but after that first inning I told myself not to panic. They got single-happy off me during those first two innings, but I just kept talking myself through it and telling myself to stay calm. It’s a new situation and a new ballpark, and I’m just happy that I was able to settle in. Mad Dog (pitching coach Mike Maddux) also reminded me to stay calm, so that really helped a lot.”

 

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