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Friday, May 24

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White Sox Thu Jun 03 2010

White Sox Salvage Final Game With Rangers

SoxLogoSmall.jpegOne-third of the way through a torpid season, the White Sox turned back the clock. For the first time in a while, they got a strong effort from their starter, three home runs and a shutdown performance from the bullpen. It felt like the good old days. For one night, at least, it was 2005.

<< SOX 4, RANGERS 3 >>

Well, that might be overstating it a bit, but it sure was nice to see the Sox using the Earl Weaver formula that produced a World Series title five years ago. Freddy Garcia, Matt Thornton and Bobby Jenks held the Rangers in check and Andruw Jones, Alex Rios and Carlos Quentin homered, the last of them a two-run shot by Quentin to put Chicago ahead in the seventh.

In the end, of course, Texas still won the series, having smacked around Mark Buehrle and Gavin Floyd on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. The Sox sit at 23-30 as they welcome the Indians for three games this weekend. But for one night, it was a nice diversion from endless speculation which overpriced veterans Kenny Williams will dump before the deadline.

Star of the night

Garcia wasn't quite as good as his last outing, when he limited the league-leading Tampa Bay Rays to two runs in seven innings. That probably was his best performance of the season. But he gave the Sox about all they can ask for from their second-oldest player, a 12-year veteran one week shy of his 35th birthday.*

Garcia, 33, scattered seven hits in seven innings, allowing single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth. The first of those was unearned after Quentin dropped a two-out fly ball at the right-field wall.

Short hops

Alexei Ramirez had the game's best defensive play to close out a dominant eighth inning by Thornton. Gliding into the shortstop hole, Ramirez backhanded the ball in a pop-up slide and made a strong throw to get Justin Smoak, who runs pretty well for a first baseman. ...

The Sox offense survived on a night when cleanup hitter Paul Konerko went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts. He still ranks ninth in the majors with a .969 OPS and is tied for first with 16 home runs after going 8-for-13 with 2 HRs and 7 RBIs in the previous four games. ...

For all the bellyaching about Jenks' 2010 performance, this was his eighth save in nine chances. Of course, that flawed statistic doesn't account for the other three times he allowed at least two runs in non-save situations. But tonight, he got two quick outs, allowed a single and a stolen base -- moving the tying run into scoring position -- and recovered to strike out Elvis Andrus on a curveball in the dirt.

TEX -- 000-111-000 - 3-8-0
CWS -- 010-001-20X - 4-8-1

* Correction: Sloppy fact-checking and bad info from got me all confused about Garcia's age. His birthdate is Oct. 6, 1976, and the Sox, sadly, have seven players older than that.

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