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Official Recap: Texas 3, Chicago 1

Arlington, TX (Sports Network) – Tommy Hunter worked into the eighth inning and Nelson Cruz had two hits and scored a run as Texas topped the Chicago White Sox, 3-1, in the middle contest of a three-game set.

Hunter (5-0) allowed a lone run on nine hits with a walk and three strikeouts over seven-plus innings to earn the win for the Rangers, who halted a two-game slide. Neftali Feliz struck out both hitters he faced to end the game and recorded his 22nd save of the season.

John Danks (7-7) suffered the loss after yielding a pair of runs on four hits over six frames, while walking four and striking out four for the White Sox, who have dropped two out of three.

Josh Hamilton singled with one out in the second and moved to third base on a Cruz single to center. Bengie Molina walked to load the bases for Joaquin Arias, who grounded out to plate Hamilton with the game's first run.

The White Sox put runners at the corners with two outs in the fifth but Alex Rios bounced into a force out at second base to end the inning.

Texas did cash in on its chance to score in the bottom of the frame, as Arias led off with a single, moved to second on a Julio Borbon sacrifice bunt and scored on a base hit by Elvis Andrus.

Cruz and Molina opened the seventh inning with singles to put runners at the corners and chase Tony Pena, who had started the inning on the hill, from the game. Erick Threets took over and got pinch-hitter Justin Smoak to ground into a double play that scored Cruz to push the home team's lead to 3-0.

Chicago finally got to Hunter in the eighth when Juan Pierre led off with a single and moved to second base on a walk to Alexei Ramirez that spelled the end of the right-hander's evening.

Frank Francisco took over and committed a balk that advanced the runners before a Rios ground out plated Pierre and moved Ramirez to third. However, the White Sox were denied any further runs when Paul Konerko was called out on strikes and Andruw Jones flied out to end the inning.

Darren Oliver started the ninth for the home side and allowed a leadoff double to pinch-hitter Brent Lillibridge, who advanced to third on a ground out. Feliz was called in from the bullpen and struck out Carlos Quentin and Gordon Beckham to preserve the win.

 

Game Notes

Hunter earned the win on his 24th birthday...His first win in the big leagues came on his birthday last season...Texas is 13-4 in Hunter's 17 career home starts...The Rangers lead the season series, 5-3...Texas improved to 29-13 at home to match the second best start in team history through 42 home games...Andrus has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games, while Smoak is hitless in his last 20 at-bats...The White Sox have fallen in 10 of their last 14 games in Arlington...Danks, an Austin, Texas native, is 1-3 in five starts against the Rangers, four of which have come in his home state.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.