White Sox homer their way past Rangers
Quentin's two-run shot in seventh caps comeback effort
CHICAGO -- The White Sox once again rode a solid outing from Freddy Garcia to a win, this one a 4-3 victory over the Texas Rangers in their series finale on Thursday at U.S. Cellular Field.
Early on, it appeared that Carlos Quentin had unwittingly ignited the Rangers with an untimely error, but he turned out to be the unlikely hero, smashing a two-run home run to right field to put the White Sox back ahead for good in the seventh.
Quentin dropped a routine fly ball on the right-field warning track in the fourth inning with two outs, which allowed David Murphy to advance to second and kept the inning alive. Justin Smoak wasted no time in driving in Murphy with an RBI single in the next at-bat to tie the score at 1.
After the error, many White Sox players went up to Quentin in the dugout to show their support.
"These guys are great people and teammates," Quentin said. "I got a lot of, 'Just shake it off.' It meant a lot that they cared enough to go out of their way and help me there."
The Rangers scored one run in each of the next two innings, taking a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the sixth.
Then the White Sox went to work. The bottom of the sixth was highlighted by Alex Rios' home run to left field, his 12th of the season, which closed the gap to 3-2.
To lead off the seventh, A.J. Pierzynski smoked the first pitch he saw into the right-field corner for a double. Two pitches later, Quentin lofted a high fly to right field, and it floated out for a two-run shot.
"I was on second, and when he hit it, I was thinking, 'Tag up and go to third,' because I wasn't sure if it was going to go out, but I was happy that it went out, got us a lead," Pierzynski said. "Carlos has had ups and downs like the rest of us, and to have a guy come through like that is great -- and it's great for him."
The two-run homer shifted Quentin from potential goat to hero in just one swing of the bat.
"This is a funny game," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Carlos made one of the best plays all year last night, and he dropped one today, and all of a sudden he's getting booed. Welcome to Chicago, papi. Then he hits that home run and people forgot that he made that error. That's the good thing about this game. I think this is a big win for us."
The entirety of the White Sox offense on the evening came on the strength of three home runs, two solo shots and Quentin's blast.
Garcia breezed through the seventh inning, setting down the top of the Rangers' lineup in order. The trio of Elvis Andrus, Michael Young and Ian Kinsler had been 3-for-9 heading into the frame.
Garcia (5-3) notched the win by going seven innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on seven hits and a walk.
"This year, my shoulder doesn't bother me," Garcia said. "I can go out there and perform, and that's what I did. We needed it today. They've been using the bullpen a lot. So I did my best and tried to keep the game close, and we scored some runs."
Garcia has allowed two earned runs or fewer in seven of his past eight home starts.
A quiet seventh was important. It allowed Matt Thornton to come in and face two lefties -- both of whom he struck out -- among three outs in the eighth inning before giving way to Bobby Jenks for the ninth.
Jenks picked up his eighth save with the scoreless frame, striking out Andrus to end the game and the White Sox modest two-game slide.
"I think if we take the lead and we've got the right guys out of the bullpen doing it ... six, seven innings for the White Sox starters [is great for us], because I know the bullpen is going to be pretty good if we do that," Guillen said.
In all, the bullpen worked two innings, gave up one hit and struck out four.
The South Siders got out to their early lead on Andruw Jones' second-inning solo homer to center field. The home run was career No. 398th for Jones, which tied him on the all-time home run list with Dale Murphy and ended a 57-at-bat homerless streak.
The White Sox, 7-0 in games when Jones homers, sit at 1-2 on this all-important nine-game homestand, with Cleveland coming to town Friday. Thursday's victory let Chicago avoid moving to nine games under .500 for the first time this season.
Louie Horvath is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.