- Associated Press - Thursday, June 4, 2015

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Jose Abreu talked his way back into the lineup and helped settle left-hander Chris Sale into his second straight scoreless outing.

Abreu, back after missing three games with a swollen right index finger, homered in a six-run second, Sale struck out a season-high 13 in seven shutout innings and the Chicago White Sox beat the Texas Rangers 9-2 on Wednesday night.

“He felt strongly about the fact that he felt fine today,” manager Robin Ventura said of Abreu. “Sometimes it’s not easy to say ‘OK, let’s send him back out there.’ You maybe want to give him an extra day to make sure he’s all right, but you have to trust the player sometimes.”

They compromised, with Abreu starting as the designated hitter to give the finger on the first baseman’s throwing hand a little more time to heal for defensive work. He followed the two-run homer, his ninth, with an RBI single in the fourth.

“I want to thank Robin for having confidence in me,” Abreu said. “He gave me a few days to rest, and get better, and the results were good.”

Tyler Flowers added three hits, including a home run, as the White Sox bounced back from a 15-2 loss in the series opener.

Sale (5-2) allowed five baserunners in the first three innings before retiring the final 14 hitters he faced. He struck out Joey Gallo three times before Texas’ top prospect homered again a night after his record-setting debut.

“Seven runs definitely helps,” said Sale, who allowed three hits and two walks. “It takes the pressure off. You saw my first inning. I was all over the place.”

The Rangers, who had a four-game winning streak end, said after the game that left fielder Josh Hamilton will miss four weeks with a strained left hamstring. The injury sidelines the 34-year-old slugger just seven games into his return, which included a two-homer game and a game-winning double that he says probably led to the strain.

Hamilton came back to Texas in a trade after two disappointing seasons with the Los Angeles Angels. He missed the first two months after offseason shoulder surgery, the trade about a month into the season and four weeks of extended spring training and minor league rehab assignments.

“It’s frustrating. That’s the best way I can put it,” Hamilton said. “But you know what? There’s nothing I can do about it. All I can do is try to get better as quick as I possibly can. I’ve had success getting back pretty quick in the past.”

Nick Martinez (4-2) allowed nine hits and seven earned runs in 3 1-3 innings - his shortest outing of the season for Texas.

Gallo homered into the upper deck in right field for the second time in two major league games. The Rangers said the shot off reliever Zach Duke made him the first Texas player to homer in his first two big-league games.

Brought up from Double-A Frisco to fill in for third baseman Adrian Beltre while the four-time All-Star recovers from a sprained left thumb, Gallo was the designated hitter after setting a franchise record with four RBIs in his debut. But the lefty-on-lefty assignment against Sale was much tougher.

Chicago’s ace threw Gallo seven straight sliders to get the first two strikeouts, then set his season high by getting the 21-year-old swinging on a changeup in the seventh. The Rangers had a season-high 16 strikeouts.

“You don’t want to leave anything over the plate with him,” said Sale, who has a scoreless streak of 19 2-3 innings. “He can swing, and he swings with some purpose behind it.”

SCORING IN TWOS

Before Abreu’s two-run homer in the second, No. 9 hitter Carlos Sanchez had a two-run single and Adam Eaton drove in two when Texas left fielder Jake Smolinski misplayed a line drive for a double. Flowers made it 9-0 with a two-run homer in the seventh off Tanner Scheppers.

TRAINER’S ROOM

White Sox: Abreu is likely to get a few more games at DH while his finger heals, with Adam LaRoche filling in at first.

Rangers: LHP Matt Harrison threw 79 pitches in a five-inning rehab stint for Triple-A Round Rock at Reno. He allowed two runs and five hits with a walk and four strikeouts.

UP NEXT:

White Sox: LHP Carlos Rodon (1-0) faces the Rangers for the first time in his eighth major league appearance and fifth start.

Rangers: RHP Yovani Gallardo (5-6) is 3-1 with a 3.38 ERA in his last four starts after starting the season 2-5 with a 4.19 ERA.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide