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White Sox hit three home tuns, throw 2-hitter in win at Texas

Published: Sunday, April 20, 2014 9:46 p.m. CDT
Caption
(AP photo)
White Sox starting pitcher Erik Johnson (left) holds up the ball after a collision at home plate as umpire James Hoye rules Texas Rangers' Leonys Martin out at the plate in the third inning Sunday in Arlington, Texas. Martin was trying to score from third on a wild pitch by Johnson.

ARLINGTON, Texas – White Sox manager Robin Ventura succinctly and aptly described the series finale at Texas.

"It's an odd game," Ventura said after the 16-2 victory Sunday that ended the Sox's four-game losing streak.

There was the bases-loaded triple by the fill-in leadoff hitter Marcus Semien after an intentional walk to the No. 9 batter, the strikeout that stood on a replay challenge after Alejandro De Aza insisted he was hit by the pitch, and Sox starter Erik Johnson allowing two runs on only one hit over five innings.

"It's always a good day if you get a win, the team gets a win," Johnson said. "If you can go out and compete without your best stuff and your team overcomes and puts up a lot of runs, it's always a positive."

Jose Abreu and Jordan Danks each had two-run homers while Johnson combined with three relievers on a two-hitter against the Rangers, who had won five in a row.

The Sox went ahead to stay with three unearned runs off Robbie Ross (1-1) in the fifth, including Abreu's fifth homer of the season for a 5-2 lead.

Johnson (1-1) allowed only a single, but the right-hander walked the leadoff batter the first four innings and threw only 44 of his 87 pitches for strikes. Texas also scored on a wild pitch, and had another runner thrown out trying to do the same.

"You're either effectively wild or effectively lucky," Ventura said.

Semien had a career-high four hits, including a bases-loaded trip in a strange sixth when Ross struck out the last two batters he faced on non-routine plays. Semien was hitting leadoff with Adam Eaton getting a couple of days off to rest some nagging leg issues.

Ross' final batter was Alejandro De Aza, who was called out on a third-strike check swing, right after Alexei Ramirez reached because of a wild pitch on the third strike.

Ventura unsuccessfully challenged, claiming the ball hit De Aza or the bat. The ruling from umpires in New York was that the call on the field stood — that the batter was out on a checked swing.

De Aza said the ball hit both his hand and the bat. The ball appeared to change direction for some reason.

"I'm not even going to check (replay). I know what happened," De Aza said. "I'm just in shock, that's all I can say."

Ventura got no real explanation on the final decision.

"It's another one of those vague it just stands," he said. "They're saying they don't have any evidence that it hit the bat."

Reliever Shawn Tolleson got the third consecutive strikeout in the inning before the Rangers opted to intentionally walk Danks. Semien then tripled off the base of the left-center field wall to make it 8-2.

"That's a little fire, it gives you a little fire when you see that happen right in front of you," he said. "I'm glad I got the result and we as a team got the result."

Tyler Flowers, who had three hits, had a leadoff single in the fifth, then went to third on Semien's one-out grounder when third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff made a throwing error while trying to start a double play. Conor Gillaspie had a tiebreaking sacrifice fly before Abreu homered.

Ross, a converted reliever, had a career high eight strikeouts with no walks in his 5 1/3 innings after not allowing an earned run his previous two starts. The lefty gave up seven hits and seven runs, four of them earned.

"If you hit your location, and throwing strikes is never detrimental, just missed his location on a few of them," manager Ron Washington said. "And then we didn't make a play behind him. That opened things up for them."

Ronald Belisario threw two scoreless innings before Andre Rienzo and Matt Lindstrom each worked an inning for the Sox.

Flowers had a leadoff single in the third before Danks' first homer.

Josh Wilson drew a leadoff walk and scored on a sac fly by Shin-Soo Choo in the Texas third, which ended when Leonys Martin got tagged out trying to score on pitch that ricocheted off the backstop.

Elvis Andrus walked to start the fourth, then went to third on a stolen base and errant throw by catcher Flowers before scoring on a wild pitch.

Notes: Rangers INF Luis Sardinas became the youngest player to appear in the majors this season when the 20-year-old made his major league debut. He came into the game at shortstop for Andrus and then got an infield single his first at-bat. ... Kouzmanoff was 0 for 3, ending his 10-game hitting streak to start his Rangers career.

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