CHICAGO -- Melky Cabrera's one-out, two-run double completed a three-run ninth-inning rally for the White Sox off Rangers closer Matt Bush and gave the South Siders an 8-7 victory in the series opener between the two clubs Friday night at Guaranteed Rate Field. It was the White Sox third win
CHICAGO -- Melky Cabrera's one-out, two-run double completed a three-run ninth-inning rally for the White Sox off Rangers closer Matt Bush and gave the South Siders an 8-7 victory in the series opener between the two clubs Friday night at Guaranteed Rate Field. It was the White Sox third win in four games and second walk-off during that stretch.
Bush, who was hit hard throughout the ninth, suffered his fourth blown save in eight tries dating back to May 31 and his second blown save costing Rangers starter Austin Bibens-Dirkx a victory. Adam Engel and Willy Garcia both singled to start the rally, followed by an Alen Hanson single to cut the lead to one. Cabrera's line shot on a 1-2 pitch stayed just fair down the first-base line, scoring pinch-runner Tim Anderson and Hanson with the game-winner. Hanson had a sprint speed of 29.3 feet per second on that play, his fastest of the season.
"I knew it was a fair ball when the umpire called it fair," said Cabrera through interpreter Billy Russo. "I hit it well, but at that moment, I was waiting for him to make that call."
"He stays calm, cool and collected all the time," White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier said. "You saw him miss two pitches already, and still I knew he had an opportunity to do some damage. He wasn't letting that third one go. [Bush] left it up just a bit higher for him, and [Cabrera] has that good-angle swing down on the ball, and he put it in a perfect spot."
Bibens-Dirkx, slotted into the rotation due to myriad injuries, made four starts and one relief appearance in June, going 3-0 with a 3.76 ERA. No other Rangers pitcher won more than two games in the month.
He allowed three home runs over 5 2/3 innings, including a pair by Frazier and Jose Abreu's first long ball at home this season after hitting 13 on the road, but all three were of the solo variety, and the White Sox managed four runs total against him.
The Rangers are now 3-5 on their current road trip, and this was their fifth loss this season when leading after eight innings. They had four such losses all of last season.
"Every loss is hard to take, no matter when," outfielder Carlos Gomez said. "When we lose, we lose whether we get beat up or like tonight's game. We need to put it in the past and come back and get a win. We still have two more games left; we can still win this series."
White Sox starter Mike Pelfrey pitched out of a bases-loaded, nobody-out situation in the first by striking out Adrian Beltre and inducing a double-play grounder from Rougned Odor on a sub-70 mph offspeed pitches, but However, Odor got to Pelfrey for a two-run shot during a four-run fourth. The White Sox right-hander yielded five runs in five innings.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Rangers challenge last play: The Rangers challenged the last play because they thought Cabrera's line drive down the right-field line might have been foul. However, following a review, the call was confirmed and the game was over.
"I've got players who feel it was foul," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "We wanted to make sure."
Gallo crushes opposite-field shot:Joey Gallo went to the opposite field in the third inning for his 21st home run of the season. This one went an estimated distance of 454 feet, his third-longest of the season. It's also the longest opposite-field homer by any player this season, left- or right-handed. Gallo is tied among several others with three blasts of at least 450 feet this season, according to Statcast™. The exit velocity was 113 miles per hour. He has 11 home runs with an exit velocity of 110 mph or better, third-most in the Majors.
"Just one of those days, and it was just an unbelievable game. You think that seventh or eighth inning, we're kind of just going through the motions, and bam, we come through."-- Frazier
ABREU FINALLY FEELS AT HOME
It had been 177 plate appearances since Abreu last homered at home, dating back to Sept. 15, 2006, against Cleveland's Mike Clevinger. His 13 home runs on the road marks the longest streak of road homers to open a season in club history and was the first in the Majors to hit his first 13 homers on the road since Donn Clendenon in 1966.
"We talked about it when he hit it," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "We were talking about getting the baseball, because everybody had been talking about how it was his first one at home."
The White Sox have won six straight home games against the Rangers.
Rangers: Left-hander Cole Hamels pitches for the Rangers against the White Sox at 1:10 p.m. CT Saturday. This is his second start since coming off the disabled list. He allowed seven runs in 4 1/3 innings in his last start against the Indians on Monday after missing almost two months because of a strained right oblique muscle.
White Sox:Derek Holland (5-7, 4.26) makes his first career start against the team he began his professional career with in 2007 and pitched parts of eight big league seasons covering 179 games and 158 starts. Holland is 1-4 with a 7.81 ERA over his past six starts.
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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.