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Rangers pound White Sox, hit three 3-run HRs

MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers were rough on White Sox starter Derek Holland in his homecoming, even though they were kind enough to spot him a 5-0 lead before he took the mound.

The Rangers pounded their former teammate with seven runs in 2 2/3 innings on their way to a 17-7 victory over the White Sox on Saturday night at Globe Life Park. The Rangers hit four home runs, including two by Rougned Odor, on their way to their 11th win in their last 16 games. They are 1 1/2 games behind the Twins and Angels for the second American League Wild Card spot.

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ARLINGTON -- The Rangers were rough on White Sox starter Derek Holland in his homecoming, even though they were kind enough to spot him a 5-0 lead before he took the mound.

The Rangers pounded their former teammate with seven runs in 2 2/3 innings on their way to a 17-7 victory over the White Sox on Saturday night at Globe Life Park. The Rangers hit four home runs, including two by Rougned Odor, on their way to their 11th win in their last 16 games. They are 1 1/2 games behind the Twins and Angels for the second American League Wild Card spot.

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"It was fun, it was amazing," said Mike Napoli, who hit one of the four home runs. "We got down five runs early but kept battling, got timely hits and kept it going. We are playing good baseball and have a good feel going."

The 17 runs were a season high for the Rangers and the most given up by the White Sox this year. The Rangers' 20 hits, eight extra-base hits and 36 total bases were also season highs. Every Rangers starter had at least two hits except Joey Gallo and he walked three times. Shin-Soo Choo had four hits, including a home run.

Video: CWS@TEX: Choo homers as part of four-hit game

Martin Perez earned the victory for the Rangers even though he was almost knocked out in the first inning. Perez allowed five runs, including a two-run double to Kevan Smith, and the Rangers had Austin Bibens-Dirkx warming up in the bullpen. But Perez was able to get out of that inning and ended up going six for his third straight win.

Abreu flirts with cycle in tough loss

"He was one hitter from being out of that game," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "We were going to turn it over to Bibens-Dirkx. But he got the last out, settled down, gathered himself mentally and really buckled down and started making pitches."

Video: CWS@TEX: White Sox score five in the 1st vs. Rangers

This is the second straight start and the fourth time this season Holland has allowed seven runs in less than three innings. He is 1-7 with a 9.49 ERA in his last 11 starts.

"It's very frustrating," Holland said. "[White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper] and I have been doing a great job of working every single bullpen, just working on pitches and location. I continue to keep repeating the same thing, and what makes it even more frustrating is we go out there and do that stuff and then I just don't do my job."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Gallo can't hold Smith double: The White Sox had bases loaded and one out in the first when Smith hit a fly ball down the left-field line. Gallo raced over and got his glove on the ball with a diving attempt, but couldn't hold it. Two runs scored on the double and another came across when Gallo overthrew home plate with nobody backing up.

Video: CWS@TEX: Smith plates a pair, Avasail scores on error

Odor goes deep off lefty: Odor entered the game hitting .165 off left-handers with just two home runs in 115 at-bats. But he put the Rangers ahead for good with a three-run home run off Holland in the fourth inning. It was his first home run since Aug. 1 -- a stretch of 58 at-bats without going deep. It was also Odor's first RBI since Aug. 1. He added another in the fourth inning, the fifth time he has hit multiple home runs in a game this season. The second one measured 466 feet, Odor's longest over the past three years, according to Statcast™. More >

"He's a really good guy," Odor said of Holland, his former teammate with the Rangers. "When he was here, he was a great teammate. It's hard to face those guys, because they're good guys and he's my friend. It's a little hard when you're playing, but I just tried to do my best and he tried to do his best, and that's it."

"Today I just couldn't get a rhythm," Holland said. "I just didn't have the tempo that I usually need. I was definitely excited to be back home and pitch in front of old fans and be back in front of Texas again, but to give a showing like I did, it didn't help the cause. I have to continue to get better each time."

Video: CWS@TEX: Statcast™ tracks Odor's longest HR since 2015

NAPOLI'S BIG NIGHT
Napoli had a two-run double in the third and a three-run home run in the fourth. It's the sixth time in his career Napoli has had at least five RBIs in a game and the first since April 22, 2013, when he was with the Red Sox.

"This is the lineup we envisioned having at the beginning of the year," Napoli said. "We haven't done it on a consistent basis, but this is one of the reasons why I signed here. I knew we were going to be a good ballclub."

Video: CWS@TEX: Rangers use long ball in six-run 4th inning

QUOTABLE
"If I was missing, I was missing too far over the plate or too far away and then I walked people. And the hardest thing in this game is defending a walk. You can do it. I have to be doing better than that." -- Holland

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Rangers scored six runs in the third and fourth innings. The last time they had two or more innings of six-plus runs was in their 30-3 victory over the Orioles on Aug. 22, 2007. The Rangers also had three three-run home runs in the game, their most in a game since hitting five home runs with either two on or the bases loaded in that game against the Orioles. 

Video: CWS@TEX: Rangers take the lead with a six-run 3rd

REVIEW TAKES AWAY ANDRUS' HOMER
Elvis Andrus seemed to hit an inside-the-park home run in the sixth when right fielder Avisail Garcia could not catch his deep drive into the right-field corner. The ball bounded away from Garcia and Andrus circled the bases for an apparent home run. But the White Sox challenged the call and it was overturned when replay showed the ball landed foul without Garcia touching it. It was the second successful challenge in the inning for the White Sox. Gallo had an infield single overturned leading off.

Video: CWS@TEX: Andrus has inside-the-park homer called back

WHAT'S NEXT
White Sox: Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez pitches against the Rangers in the finale of the four-game series at 2:05 p.m. CT Sunday at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Gonzalez is 2-1 with a 4.03 ERA in his last five starts and 2-3 with a 4.56 ER4 in six career starts against the Rangers.

Rangers: Right-hander A.J. Griffin pitches against the White Sox. Griffin missed over two months with a left intercostal strain and is 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA in three starts since he returned.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

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.

Shin-Soo Choo, Derek Holland, Mike Napoli, Rougned Odor, Martin Perez