ARLINGTON -- Jose Abreu's ninth home run of the season capped the White Sox six-run rally in the second inning and starter Chris Sale dominated the Rangers for seven innings in a 9-2 victory on Wednesday night at Globe Life Park. The victory snapped the Rangers' four-game winning streak and left the White Sox 5-5 on their 11-game road trip.
Sale allowed three hits, walked two and struck out a season-high 13. Sale is 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA in his last six starts. In 44 innings, he has allowed 26 hits and struck out 59.
"Nice offense tonight. It was good to have a big inning like that," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "Guys swung the bat. Especially in this ballpark, it's an offensive ballpark, and for Chris to do what he did, it was great. Once you get those runs, he was just trying to minimize things. He was fantastic."
Rangers starter Nick Martinez had his shortest outing of the season, allowing seven runs in 3 1/3 innings. That brought to an end Martinez's streak of allowing three runs or fewer in 16 straight starts, the longest in club history.
The Rangers' runs came on Mitch Moreland's bases-loaded walk in the eighth inning and Joey Gallo's leadoff homer, his second in two big league games, in the ninth.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED He's back: Abreu missed three games because of swelling in his right index finger, but he returned with authority. Abreu launched a 410-foot, two-run homer during a six-run second and then singled home another run in the fourth. Abreu is 15-for-39 with 24 RBIs when hitting with runners in scoring position this season.
"The results were good, but the most important thing was we won today," said Abreu, through interpreter and White Sox Spanish language broadcaster Billy Russo. "It was a very important victory for us."
Gallo meets Sale: Gallo had to go up against Sale in his second Major League game and didn't fare well in the lefty vs. lefty matchup. Sale struck out Gallo three straight times. But Gallo became the first Ranger to homer in his first two Major League games when he went deep off Zach Duke in the ninth.
"You don't want to leave anything over the plate against him. He can swing it," said Sale of Gallo. "He swings with some purpose behind it. Just follow [Flowers], whatever he's got, that's what I'm throwing."
"His at-bats got progressively better as the night went on," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said of his rookie third baseman. More >
Sale-ing along: For the first time in his illustrious career as a starter, Sale has struck out 10 or more in three straight games. He fanned 13 on Wednesday and struck out everyone at least once but Carlos Corporan.
Depleted lineup can't strike first: The Rangers' lineup was missing Adrian Beltre, Prince Fielder and Josh Hamilton. That left Elvis Andrus in the No. 3 spot for the first time in his career and Moreland in the cleanup spot for the second straight night. He had never hit there before Tuesday. The Rangers started the first inning with a single by Delino DeShields and a walk to Shin-Soo Choo. But Andrus struck out and Moreland grounded into a double play.
"Those games are easier to put behind. The gut-wrenching ones might linger a little bit, but these guys are pros, and they came in and did what they had to do." -- Ventura, on bouncing back from a 15-2 loss on Tuesday
TEMPERS, REPLAY MARK RANGERS' THIRD
The Rangers, trailing 6-0, did not score in the bottom of the third, but the inning turned interesting after a one-out double by DeShields. Choo then walked on a full-count pitch that was up and in, just missing hitting him. Choo yelled out at Sale and was quickly escorted to first base by home-plate umpire Mike Estabrook.
Andrus, on a 2-2 pitch, then smacked a line drive down the left field line that just missed the chalk and was called foul by third-base umpire Ed Hickox. The Rangers asked for a review, but the call was confirmed by replay. The Rangers have been unsuccessful on their last 10 challenges. Andrus then lined out, as did Moreland.
WHAT'S NEXT White Sox: Rookie left-hander Carlos Rodon makes his fifth start and eighth appearance when he pitches against the Rangers at 7:05 p.m. CT on Thursday. Rodon earned his only big league win on May 9. He has a 3.86 ERA without a decision in his last three starts.
Rangers: Right-hander Yovani Gallardo pitches against the White Sox in Thursday night's series finale. This will be Gallardo's first career start against the White Sox. He is 3-1 with a 3.38 ERA in his last four starts.