CHICAGO (AP) – Pinch-hitter Mitch Moreland drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single off closer David Robertson in the ninth inning, and the Texas Rangers beat Chicago 2-1 after being dominated by White Sox starter Chris Sale on Friday night.
Colby Lewis pitched eight strong innings for Texas. But it looked like this was going to be Sale’s night until the late rally turned a promising night into the White Sox’s season-high eighth straight loss.
Sale retired the first 17 batters and matched a season-high with 14 strikeouts while pitching two-hit ball over eight innings. He joined Hall of Famers Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson by striking out at least 12 in five straight starts.
Robertson (4-2) came on in the ninth and ran into trouble with one out when he walked Shin-Soo Choo and gave up a single to Elvis Andrus, putting runners on first and second. He threw a wild pitch to Joey Gallo before striking him out, then intentionally walked Prince Fielder to load the bases.
Moreland, batting for Adam Rosales, then lined a two-run single to right before Ryan Rua struck out looking.
The late rally made a winner of Lewis (7-3), who gave up one run and nine hits. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter while winning his sixth straight start against Chicago.
Shawn Tolleson worked the ninth for his 10th save in as many chances. He walked Geovany Soto with two outs and hit Adam Eaton before retiring Melky Cabrera on a bloop to second baseman Rougned Odor in shallow right.
Chicago’s lone run came on Tyler Flowers’ leadoff homer in the fifth, and it looked like that would be enough the way Sale was pitching.
The left-hander did not walk a batter and tied Johnson’s major league mark by striking out at least 10 in six straight outings. But Robertson blew his fourth save in 17 chances.