ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Shawn Kelley knew the Texas bullpen was a little short-handed, so he volunteered for some extra work.
The Rangers’ closer shut down a late White Sox rally with his first four-out save in three years, and Texas beat Chicago 7-4 Sunday.
Kelley had bullpen coach Oscar Marin inform the dugout that he was prepared to get four outs, particularly since fellow relievers José Leclerc and Chris Martin weren’t available.
“I’m not the freshest I’ve ever been,” said Kelley, 35, who took over the closer’s role from Leclerc in mid-April, “but I felt like I could get four outs if we needed.”
Kelley struck out Tim Anderson to strand runners at second and third in the eighth after the White Sox had scored three runs to pull to 5-4. He pitched a scoreless ninth for his 10th save, preserving the win for rookie Adrian Sampson (6-4).
The 25 pitches were the most that Kelley has thrown this season.
“We like to keep his pitch total down,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “He’s so max on every pitch that it’s not in his best interest or ours to keep him out there for too long.”
Tim Federowicz and Danny Santana hit two-out, two-run homers in the second inning to help the Rangers win for the third time in four games. They took two of three from the White Sox and have either won or split eight straight series.
Sampson, who earned his first major league win on May 17, allowed one run and seven hits in seven innings, struck out four and walked one. He gave up the run on three straight singles to begin the fifth inning, Eloy Jiménez scoring on an opposite-field hit by Anderson. Sampson retired the next three batters without allowing the ball out of the infield.
Ivan Nova (3-6) gave up three earned runs in six innings for Chicago. Nova is 0-2 in his last six starts.
“The guys obviously at the end chipped away a little bit, having the tying and winning runs on second and third, had a couple opportunities,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “We weren’t able to get anything across, but we still continued to battle.”
In Chicago’s eighth, Pete Fairbanks, the first of three Texas relievers, allowed all four batters he faced to reach, walking James McCann with the bases loaded with none out.
Brett Martin came on and got Jiménez to hit a fly ball to center. Delino DeShields broke in two steps, then retreated, the ball caroming off his glove and rolling toward the fence with two runs scoring on the play.
“In our ballpark, when that wind starts blowing, it has a little extra carry to it,” Woodward said. “I don’t know if anybody in his exact shoes would have caught that ball.”
Anderson celebrated his 26th birthday. … Nova had gone 3-0 in his previous five road starts with a 2.97 ERA. … McCann has reached base in 11 straight games. … DeShields went 3 for 3 with three RBI, including one in the eighth, and is hitting .355 since being recalled for the second time this season from Triple-A Nashville on June 2 after hitting .182 before then.
White Sox: RHP Dylan Covey (shoulder inflammation) pitched a side session on Sunday, and Renteria will decide on Covey’s status during the next series in Boston.
Rangers: 1B Ronald Guzman was back in the lineup after leaving Saturday night’s game in the eighth inning with heel soreness. He went 0 for 3 with an RBI.
White Sox RHP Lucas Giolito (10-2, 2.74) will open the three-game series against the Red Sox on Monday. Giolito shares the American League lead in wins but allowed a season-high six earned runs in a 7-3 loss to the Cubs last Wednesday, his first loss in 12 starts.
Rangers RHP Jesse Chavez (2-2, 3.18) will make his first start since 2017 (not counting being an opener for four games this season) to begin a three-game series at Detroit on Tuesday. Chavez has made 34 appearances this season, most recently pitching five innings last Wednesday.