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White Sox look to shed frustration in rubber game vs. Rangers

Sportsnaut
May 9, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Michael Kopech (34) delivers during the first inning aghast the Cleveland Guardians at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago White Sox will look to get back on the winning track and find some rest for their weary relief corps when they host the Texas Rangers on Sunday afternoon in the rubber game of a three-game series on Chicago’s South Side.

The White Sox will send righthander Michael Kopech (2-2, 1.94 ERA) to the mound, while Texas will counter with righthander Jon Gray (1-3, 5.28).

The Rangers rallied from down 5-0 after four innings, helped by Adolis Garcia’s three-run home run, to beat Chicago 11-9 in 10 innings on Saturday afternoon. Texas scored four runs in the top of the fifth inning and four more in the 10th, with Nathaniel Lowe and Marcus Semien producing RBI hits in the extra frame.

“That fifth inning, just getting back in the game is what turned things around,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said afterward. “Adolis’ homer there kinda just sparked the bench and allowed us to say, ‘We’re back in this thing.'”

The Rangers pounded out 15 hits (six players had two hits apiece) and got two perfect innings from reliever Matt Moore. The left-hander struck out five of the six batters he faced as Texas won for just the third time in its past 10 games.

“Our bullpen did a great job of keeping Chicago in check for us to make the comeback,” Woodward added.

Gray will be making his first-ever appearance against the White Sox.

The White Sox also had 15 hits in Saturday’s loss, their third in their past four games. Leury Garcia had three singles and three runs to lead the White Sox, and Jake Burger ripped a two-run home run and was among four Chicago players with two hits each.

The Chicago bullpen has been busy in recent games and could use Kopech to go deep into Sunday’s outing.

The White Sox got only 4 2/3 innings from Dylan Cease and used five relievers in a 11-9 loss to the Dodgers on Thursday. Against the Rangers on Friday — an 8-3 Chicago win – the White Sox used a bullpen game, with Reynaldo Lopez — the first of four relievers — pitching the first two innings in his first start of the season.

Chicago also used five relievers on Saturday after ace starter Lucas Giolito went five innings.

As the Rangers were taking their insurmountable lead in the 10th, a vocal group of White Sox fans at Guaranteed Rate Field — likely frustrated by Texas’ comeback and Chicago’s lackluster production through the first third of the season — began to chant “Fire Tony,” in reference to manager Tony La Russa.

The White Sox are 27-30 this season after being expected to run away with the AL Central Division.

“I appreciate they want us to win, and when we don’t win, they’re unhappy,” La Russa said afterward. “There isn’t anything that’s happening with this team that in the end, I’m not responsible for. Never dodged accountability, and I won’t start now.”

Kopech is 1-0 all-time against the Rangers with a 1.29 ERA in three appearances, only one of them as a starter. He has struck out 13 in seven innings in those appearances versus Texas.

–Field Level Media