CHICAGO -- Jose Abreu hit a walk-off single in the 11th inning Saturday to cap a wild 4-3 White Sox win against the Rangers at U.S. Cellular Field.
What started as a pitchers' duel between Carlos Rodon and Colby Lewis turned into an extra-innings thriller. Lewis surrendered only one run in six innings, and Rodon gave up two over 6 2/3. After that, things got wacky before the White Sox won it against Rangers pitcher Nick Martinez, who loaded the bases to set up Abreu's grounder that sneaked through three Rangers on the left side of the infield. Abreu had only four hits in his past 45 at-bats entering the 11th.
"Put the ball in play, magic will happen," White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier said. "I'm happy for him. Hopefully he can ride that train now and just keep on going."
With the game tied at 3, it seemed as if the White Sox won the game in the ninth when Frazier launched a deep fly to right field, but Nomar Mazara jumped to rob what might have been a home run and sent the game to extras. The Rangers, too, had chances to win with runners on base in both the 10th and 11th, but the White Sox got a timely double play and big stops from Brett Lawrie to hold on.
"It was a good game, but we would have liked to have been on the winning end of it," third baseman Adrian Beltre said. "Good pitching, both teams came back late. It was still a good game, but we should have come out better."
The Rangers scored first on an Ian Desmond home run in the top of the second, but Melky Cabrera answered with a blast of his own in the bottom half of the inning. Elvis Andrus broke a 1-1 tie with an RBI triple in the seventh, but the White Sox rallied in the eighth, scoring on a Frazier homer and an RBI single from Dioner Navarro. Not to be outdone, the Rangers scored again in the top of the ninth when Andrus hit a sacrifice fly to score Desmond. Although the White Sox ended up winning, closer David Robertson blew a save for the first time in his past 13 chances.
"He's not going to get every save, and we've just got to be there for him, and that's what we do as hitters," Frazier said. "Come and prepare ourselves and be ready for late-inning comebacks, and that's what we've been doing. It's a lot of fun."
Matt Albers got credit for the victory as the White Sox won for the fourth time in five games and clinched a victory in this three-game series against the Rangers.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Where's the action? The White Sox loaded the bases in the fourth after a Cabrera base hit, a Lawrie walk and an Alex Avila single. With two outs and a chance to break the game open, Austin Jackson popped up to first base to end the inning. Jackson again came to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth. This time, he grounded to Rougned Odor to end the inning. Jackson entered the game a .419 career hitter (13-for-31) against Lewis.
Defense shines for Rangers: The Rangers defensive prowess was on display, beginning with a diving catch by Desmond in left in the first inning. Shortstop Andrus also made a great catch in the third, making a full-out dive to his left to snag Abreu's sizzling line drive to end the inning. They also made two nice defensive plays in the eighth. Mitch Moreland jumped on Jackson's squeeze bunt and got an out at home, and center fielder Delino DeShields threw out Navarro trying to score from second on Adam Eaton's two-out single. All of that before Mazara's magnificent catch in the ninth.
"There were way too many good things that happened to us in the game to ponder about the negatives," manager Jeff Banister said. "That was a well-fought game by two ballclubs." More >
Rodon returns:The wild late innings overshadowed a bounceback performance from left-hander Rodon. Rodon put an end to any worries that might have lingered after he gave up five runs in one-third of an inning Monday against the Angels. Rodon pitched like himself, if not better, Saturday. He gave up only two hits and two runs in his 6 2/3 innings on the way to a no-decision. He was pulled in the seventh to give Jake Petricka a righty-righty matchup against Andrus, who ended up tripling.
"After an outing like that, you come out a little more focused," Rodon said. "I guess a little more juice, and I was ready to go."
Desmond ties the game: The Rangers trailed 3-2 going into the ninth, but Desmond worked a leadoff walk against Robertson. He then stole second as Moreland struck out on a full-count pitch and advanced to third when catcher Navarro's throw bounced into center field. He scored on Andrus' sacrifice fly.
"If you were a fan and came away from that game unsatisfied, you just don't like baseball," -- Banister
"You see five guys, and it's like hitting against a big, ol' glove out there. You try to hit the ball up, try to get a sacrifice fly, and lo and behold, Jose hit it hard enough to get through the hole." -- Frazier, on hitting against five men in the infield
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Desmond walked three times. It's only the third time in 944 games over his career that he has drawn three walks. Since 2010, he has averaged one walk per 16.18 plate appearances, the 14th-lowest among 87 hitters with at least 3,000 plate appearances.
AVILA LEAVES WITH INJURY
White Sox catcher Avila left the game after the sixth inning with tightness in his right hamstring. Avila was 1-for-1 with two walks before his exit. Navarro replaced him behind the plate. Avila said postgame that it is likely he will go on the disabled list. More >
UNDER REVIEW Jimmy Rollins thought he had his first stolen base of the year in the fifth inning, but it was taken away after the Rangers challenged the play. Rollins slid in head-first ahead of catcher Bryan Holaday's throw, but the safe call was overturned when it was determined that Rollins became disengaged from the bag during the slide.
WHAT'S NEXT Rangers: Left-hander Derek Holland pitches against the White Sox in the finale of a three-game series at 1:10 p.m. CT Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field. Holland is 0-2 with a 7.98 ERA in five career games against the White Sox.
White Sox: Right-hander Mat Latos looks to add to his terrific start to the season when the White Sox conclude this three-game series against the Rangers on Sunday. Latos is 3-0 with a 0.49 ERA so far this year.