This time the Rangers prevailed on the strength of big hits from Adrian Beltre, Robinson Chirinos and J.P. Arencibia and the resurgent pitching of Colby Lewis for a 16-0 victory at U.S. Cellular Field. The 16 runs were a season-high while the 18 hits tied the Rangers' season high.
"It was a huge win," Beltre said. "Especially with the way everybody contributed. We were putting together good at-bats and making the pitcher work. It is something we have been looking for and we need to do more of it."
"It was great," Arencibia said. "But honestly the best part was watching Colby throw nine shutout innings."
Lewis did so for the second shutout of his career and the league-leading 15th by the Rangers this season. Lewis' other shutout was May 16, 2011, also against the White Sox in Chicago. That was long before Lewis missed 18 months because of elbow and shoulder surgeries, but this is the latest evidence that he is returning to the pitcher he was before all the injuries.
"It has been a long journey, that's for sure," Lewis said. "It's been blessed with the opportunity the Rangers gave me to come back … it was just a good night."
Lewis held the White Sox to six hits and a walk while striking out seven and is now 2-2 with a 2.30 ERA in four starts since the All-Star break.
"All year long, each time he has taken the ball, he has gotten stronger and stronger," manager Ron Washington said. "He is able to trust his body and we know he can pitch. Colby Lewis was the show tonight. He executed his pitches as well as I've ever seen him. He stayed focused. He looked like the Colby we know."
The Rangers established a season high by hitting five home runs, including four off of White Sox starter John Danks. Chirinos hit two of the long balls for the first multi-homer game of his career and the Rangers snapped a four-game losing streak.
"I felt great," Danks said. "It's a shame to go out there and get your butt kicked on a night that you feel so good. It doesn't happen every time out when you feel great and tonight I felt really good about everything in the bullpen and I just got my tail kicked."
Shin-Soo Choo started the rout with a leadoff double in the first inning. Elvis Andrus bunted him to third and Alex Rios put the Rangers ahead with a single to left. Beltre then made it 3-0 with his club-leading 16th home run of the season.
The Rangers followed that up with another big inning in the second by taking advantage of Danks' control problems. Chirinos started the inning by hitting a full-count fastball over the center-field wall for the first of his home runs. Danks then walked three of the next five batters, and with the bases loaded and two outs, Arencibia doubled into the left-field corner to make it 7-0.
Lewis pretty much took it from there.
"You have to take that kind of a lead and go out there throwing strikes," Lewis said. "I kept telling myself to pound the strike zone and keep the pressure on their at-bats."
Danks also gave up home runs to Arencibia and Chirinos in the fifth, and Choo added his 10th against reliever Maikel Cleto to lead off the sixth. By the time the Rangers were done, White Sox manager Robin Ventura had Adam Dunn on the mound in the ninth trying to save what was left of the bullpen.
"There's no doubt we have the talent to do that more often," Beltre said. "It just hasn't been the case. Everybody knows we have some young talent but they're good enough to get it done."