By Stephen Hawkins
The Associated Press
ARLINGTON, Texas — Robbie Ross hadn’t allowed an earned run in his previous two starts, and the Texas Rangers had won five games in a row.
They are not planning to let one strange and lopsided game affect how much better things have been going lately.
“Definitely satisfied with the way things came out. Won each series,” manager Ron Washington said after a 16-2 loss Sunday to the Chicago White Sox that wrapped up a 7-3 homestand. “If we can just keep winning series, we’ll be fine.”
Jose Abreu and Jordan Danks each had two-run homers for Chicago while Erik Johnson (1-1) had a wild outing even while combining with three relievers on a two-hitter.
The White Sox went ahead to stay with three unearned runs off Ross (1-1) in the fifth, including Abreu’s fifth homer of the season for a 5-2 lead on way to ending a four-game losing streak.
Ross, a converted reliever, had a career high eight strikeouts with no walks in 5 1-3 innings. The lefty gave up seven hits and seven runs, four of them earned.
“It happens sometimes. Obviously, I’d love to go out there and throw my best game every day, but sometimes you’ve got to battle through it,” Ross said. “It was one of those games where stuff wasn’t happening personally and things just were going the way they did.”
Fill-in While Sox leadoff hitter Marcus Semien had a career-high four hits, including a bases-loaded trip in a strange sixth when Ross struck out the last two batters he faced on non-routine plays. Semien was hitting leadoff with Adam Eaton getting a couple of days off to rest some nagging leg issues.
Ross’ final batter was Alejandro De Aza, who was called out on a third-strike check swing, right Alexei Ramirez reached because of a wild pitch on the third strike.
Ventura unsuccessfully challenged, claiming the ball hit De Aza or the bat. The ruling from umpires in New York was that the call on the field stood — that the batter was out on a checked swing.
De Aza said the ball hit both his hand and the bat. The ball appeared to change direction for some reason.
“I’m not even going to check (replay). I know what happened,” De Aza said. “I’m just in shock, that’s all I can say.”
Ventura got no real explanation on the final decision.
“It’s another one of those vague it just stands,” he said. “They’re saying they don’t have any evidence that it hit the bat.”
Reliever Shawn Tolleson got the third consecutive strikeout in the inning before the Rangers opted to intentionally walk Danks. Semien then tripled off the base of the left-center field wall to make it 8-2.
Tyler Flowers, who had three hits, had a leadoff single in the fifth, then went to third on Semien’s one-out grounder when third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff made a throwing error while trying to start a double play. Conor Gillaspie had a tiebreaking sacrifice fly before Abreu hit his fifth homer.
Johnson allowed only a single, but the right-hander walked the leadoff batter the first four innings and threw only 44 of his 87 pitches for strikes. Texas also scored on a wild pitch, and had another runner thrown out trying to do the same.
“You’re either effectively wild or effectively lucky,” Ventura said.
Josh Wilson drew a leadoff walk and scored on a sac fly by Shin-Soo Choo in the Texas third, which ended when Leonys Martin got tagged out trying to score on pitch that ricocheted off the backstop.
Elvis Andrus walked to start the fourth, then went to third on a stolen base and errant throw by catcher Flowers before scoring on a wild pitch.
“Besides today’s game, we have great momentum,” Andrus said. “I think everybody’s feeling that way.”
NOTES: Texas became the first major league team in three years with 10 base runners on as few as two hits. ... Dayan Viciedo had hits in each of his last three at-bats, including a solo homer in the seventh and an RBI single in Chicago’s seven-run ninth off Hector Noesi. ... Texas INF Luis Sardinas became the youngest player to appear in the majors this season when the 20-year-old made his major league debut. He came into the game at shortstop for Andrus and then got an infield single his first at-bat. ... Kouzmanoff was 0 for 3, ending his 10-game hitting streak to start his Rangers career.
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