ARLINGTON -- The White Sox and Rangers gave a long, slow goodbye to the season's first half. Paul Konerko's bases-loaded, two-out at-bat nearly 1:40 into the game had the feel of a late-inning situation. However, the scoreboard showed it was merely the top of the fourth inning. Two and a half hours later, the first half of Chicago's season finally came to a close, as the White Sox headed into the break on a losing note, bowing out to the Rangers, 12-11, on Sunday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Chicago recorded 22 hits, the team's highest hit total ever in a nine-inning loss.
The clubs' pitching staffs combined to allow 21 earned runs on 39 hits and nine walks, facing 98 batters in the process. Despite a three-run Chicago rally in the ninth, there were no encouraging words about the comeback attempt or the offensive production from manager Ozzie Guillen. Guillen's comments were aimed directly at the offensive display of pitching he witnessed in the four-hour game. "Any Major Leaguer who pitched in this game should be embarrassed," Guillen said. "People paid a lot of money to watch this circus. It was embarrassing; Both sides, not just mine. From the first inning to the last, it was horrible. I've never seen such a poorly pitched game in all of my years in baseball." In Konerko's fourth-inning at-bat, he ultimately flew out to center field, marking the first inning in which neither club scored. It was just one of a handful of forgettable moments for Konerko on the afternoon. The foremost of those moments was his at-bat in the ninth inning. Chicago had the go-ahead run on base with two outs, but Konerko went down looking. While every other White Sox in the starting lineup collected at least one hit, Konerko went 0-for-6 just a day after going 4-for-4 with a home run. In all, Konerko left nine men on base, ending the fourth inning with the bases loaded and the sixth inning by grounding into a double play. "It's just the ups and downs of the game," Konerko said. "Just one hit could have changed the game. I didn't feel much different than yesterday." The Chicago offense managed without him, pounding 22 hits -- including 15 by the top five hitters in the lineup -- and tying the game at 7 in the top of the seventh. Then Konerko's defense betrayed him; His throwing error in the bottom of the seventh helped Texas regain the lead. Boone Logan had David Murphy picked off, but the first baseman airmailed his throw to second, and Murphy advanced to third. Murphy eventually scored the go-ahead run in the inning as Logan allowed three runs, getting yanked without recording an out. Logan's performance was just one in a long line of poor pitching on the afternoon. Jose Contreras went four-plus innings for Chicago, allowing seven runs on 10 hits. Texas starter Matt Harrison actually fared worse, allowing five runs in just 2 2/3 innings. "I don't feel good at all, because I haven't been able to help my team out at all the last two months," Contreras said. Of the 10 combined pitchers used by the two teams on Sunday, only Nick Masset and Matt Thornton didn't allow runs. Masset retired all six batters he faced, while Thornton retired three of the five batters he faced.
Shawn Shroyer is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.