ARLINGTON -- Miguel Gonzalez pitched six scoreless innings in the Texas afternoon heat as the White Sox earned a split of a four-game series with a 3-2 victory over the Rangers on Sunday at Globe Life Park. The loss dropped the Rangers to 2 1/2 games behind the Angels and the Twins for the second American League Wild Card spot.
Gonzalez, with a game-time temperature of 97 degrees, pitched out of some tough jams in the second, third and fourth innings, while keeping the Rangers off the scoreboard by holding them 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Texas, one day after scoring 17 runs in a win, had the bases loaded and one out twice against Gonzalez and didn't score.
"It's not easy. It's tough. You have to be mentally strong," Gonzalez said of pitching in the Texas heat. "... Fourth, fifth and sixth innings were a lot better that way. I was able to stay ahead and make pitches and we got the 'W,' which is huge. It was big."
The White Sox right-hander ended up retiring the last nine batters he faced, including three straight in the fourth after singles by Mike Napoli and Drew Robinson started the inning. Gonzalez struck out six and got nine outs either through popups or fly balls.
"Great effort for Gonzo," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "He worked through some traffic early, some bases-loaded jams, he was able to get out of them. We made some plays behind him. Just a nice job. He kept us in the ballgame."
The Rangers didn't score until there were two outs in the ninth, when Rougned Odor hit a two-run home run off new White Sox closer Juan Minaya. Minaya still earned his second save, though, by retiring the next batter, Elvis Andrus, on a flyout to center to end the game.
"I felt Gonzalez made some pitches in those situations, but the thing today was we had no productive outs," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said of his club, which left 10 runners on base. "Look, it was really the entire offense. We felt good about the number of baserunners, but when you end up not getting any runs until late, those games generally don't work out."
Rangers starter A.J. Griffin had his own jams to deal with, and the White Sox were able to get to him with three runs in the fourth. Texas ended up 7-3 on its homestand and is set to embark on a nine-game trip to Anaheim, Oakland and Houston.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Saladino comes through: White Sox second baseman Tyler Saladino entered the game hitting .195 with runners in scoring position and just six RBIs in 185 at-bats this season. But he capped the South Siders' big fourth inning with a two-run double off Griffin to give the White Sox a 3-0 lead. Omar Narvaez opened the scoring with an RBI single earlier in the inning.
Farquhar makes successful debut: Veteran right-hander Danny Farquhar made his first appearance for the White Sox since being called up on Saturday and delivered a crucial scoreless frame in the seventh. Farquhar allowed a two-out walk to Odor and a single to Andrus that put runners at the corners, but he retired Adrian Beltre on a high popup in foul territory to end the inning.
"I really tip my hat to those guys who pitch here day games. It's not easy. It's tough, but we got through it." -- Gonzalez, on the heat in Arlington
"They are good. … No matter if you are in last place, if you have a good game, you can beat anybody. They have nine guys on the field that come to play hard every day." -- Andrus, on not taking games against the White Sox for granted
GALLO, BUSH EXIT
Rangers third baseman Joey Gallo and reliever Matt Bush both left the game in the top of the eighth when they collided chasing a popup near third base. Bush had just come on to pitch when Nicky Delmonico led off with a weak pop to the left side. The Rangers had a shift on the other way against Delmonico so both Gallo and Bush, a former shortstop, had a long run to make the catch. Bush made the play, but their heads took the brunt of the collision and both had to leave the game.
WHAT'S NEXT White Sox: The White Sox begin a five-game series against the Twins at Guaranteed Rate Field with a straight doubleheader Monday beginning at 4:10 p.m. CT. Carlos Rodon gets the start in Game 1, and Carson Fulmer will come up from Triple-A Charlotte to start the nightcap for his big league debut.
Rangers:Cole Hamels opens a four-game series when he starts against the Angels at 9:07 p.m. CT on Monday in Anaheim. Hamels has won three straight starts with a 1.64 ERA. He is 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA in seven career starts against the Angels.