CHICAGO (AP) — The Texas Rangers had a lead late, and again the bullpen failed to hold it.
Reliever Jose Leclerc (1-2) gave up a two-run home run with two outs in the eighth to Chicago’s Yolmer Sanchez and the White Sox beat the Rangers 6-5 on Sunday.
It was a sloppy, error- and walk-filled game in which both teams gave the other numerous chances. The White Sox committed a season-high four errors, including two on the same play that allowed a run to score.
“It was not the cleanest game,” Chicago manager Rick Renteria said.
The Sox also nearly let the Rangers off the hook after taking the lead, loading the bases in the ninth before David Robertson (4-2) struck out Carlos Gomez to end the game.
Even that final strikeout was sloppy, as the ball got away from catcher Kevan Smith. He could have just thrown to first to finalize the game, because Gomez didn’t run, but Smith instead grabbed the ball and dove to touch home plate before Joey Gallo could score from home.
The Rangers are tied for most blown saves in the American League with 17.
“It was one pitch, one moment — good hitters put good swings on hanging breaking balls,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.
Actually, Banister said, the four pitches earlier in the inning that set up the game-winning home run were just as problematic when Chicago’s Todd Frazier walked, after getting behind in the count 0-2.
“The walk was really what led to that situation, the inability to make a pitch there in that at-bat, (when) you have a guy down two strikes,” Banister said. And while the bullpen again will be blamed, there were other problems throughout.
“We had an opportunity in the ninth against their closer and didn’t get the job done,” Banister said. “The biggest story is the seven walks and (a) hit batter, three of which scored today.”
The White Sox were also frustrated by mistakes. Among the team’s four errors, two came in the fourth inning when the Rangers’ Robinson Chirinos stole second. Smith’s throw to second sailed out into center field, allowing Chirinos to head for third. Center fielder Adam Engel retrieved it and tried to throw out Chirinos at third, but the throw was off target and Chirinos went home.
Sanchez, however, erased the problems with the dramatic, late, home run, just his fourth of the season.
“We never quit,” Sanchez said through an interpreter. “We try to fight every single inning…. We have some good comeback wins, and we did it today, too.”
Melky Cabrera also homered for Chicago — hitting his ninth in the first — and Mike Napoli hit his 16th for Texas.
White Sox starter Jose Quintana had his shortest outing since May 30, giving up five runs in 4 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out five. Quintana had thrown 19 scoreless innings before giving up a run in the third inning.
Texas starter Tyler Ross gave up four runs in five innings, walked five, and hit one batter.
Jonathan Lucroy had given the Rangers a 5-4 lead with a two-run single in the fifth. He noted the frustrations with the team’s inability to hold on to late leads, but said it doesn’t matter how the team loses.
“A loss is a loss,” Lucroy said. “Obviously it’s frustrating, but I don’t think it changes our outlook on anything else… Hopefully we keep giving our bullpen chances to close a game out for us like that.”
TEXAS BULLPEN BEEF-UP
The Rangers made a move Sunday to try to bolster the bullpen, acquiring right-hander Jason Grilli from Toronto. Grilli, 40, had been 2-4 with a 7,.97 ERA, and was designated for assignment by Toronto. Grilli had 33 saves for the Pirates in 2013 and made the All-Star team, and also saved 24 games for Atlanta in 2015.
NOT MAKING THEM EARN IT
With the two unearned runs allowed Sunday, the White Sox have now given up 43 on the season. They came into the game having allowed the second most unearned runs in the American League, behind Oakland. The Sox also have made the second-most errors in all of MLB, again behind Oakland.
Rangers: RHP Tony Barnette (right finger sprain) was activated from the 10-day disabled list. … RHP Andrew Cashner is listed as the Rangers’ starter for Wednesday’s game against Boston. Cashner was hit on the right arm by a broken bat on Thursday at Cleveland.
White Sox: RF Avisail Garcia (left knee inflammation) sat out a fourth straight game, but said he was feeling good after running and swinging and expected to be back in the lineup Monday. … INF Tyler Saladino (back spasms) won’t make the White Sox trip to Oakland, Renteria said.
Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (4-6, 4.70 ERA) returns after a stint on the DL (broken right thumb) to start Monday against Boston.
White Sox: LHP Carlos Rodon (0-1, 0.00 ERA) makes his second start of the season at Oakland on Monday after returning from the disabled list (left biceps burcitis.)
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