CHICAGO — Another 49 degree day packed plenty of chill for White Sox fans. A sweep at the hands of the streaking Rangers made the day all that much colder.
Texas swept this four-game series at Sox Park, stretching its win streak to nine, and solidifying its status as the AL's best with a 4-3 win on Sunday afternoon.
Reynaldo López was woefully inefficient, laboring through all four of his innings, throwing 96 pitches to record 12 ours. It's a sort of miracle that he allowed just three runs, with just one free pass, with that level of competency.
Texas' Lance Lynn fared much better, with three runs (two earned over seven innings). Lynn was yet another Rangers starter this series who came in with flatulent numbers but feasted on overeager and inefficient White Sox hitters.
Chicago rallied to tie after falling behind twice in the game. Down 1-0 in the third, Yoán Moncada walked and stole second, then came in on a Leury García two-bagger. In the sixth, a two-out rally knotted the game at three: James McCann singled, Nick Madrigal reached on an error, and new call-up Cheslor Cuthbert singled McCann in.
Cuthbert had himself a game, starting at first base in place of the slumping José Abreu. His game-tying single in the sixth came just an inning after the corner infielder had an RBI single to score Madrigal (double).
In a common theme all extended weekend, the White Sox started rallies they couldn't finish. In that sixth inning, after drawing to 3-2 with the Cuthbert single, the club had ducks on the pond with nobody out. Moncada and García whiffed, and Eloy Jiménez grounded out to third to complete the missed opportunity for a crooked number.
The game-winning hit came with one out in the seventh inning, when Danny Santana homered off of Carson Fulmer to make the game 4-3. It was the only hit and run Fulmer allowed in the game, swelling his ERA to a still-stingy 1.76.
The White Sox have lost four games in a row, falling from first to third place and a .500 record (11-11). The best possible salve for a losing streak arrives on the South Side on Monday, for a three-game set: the 9-12 Kansas City Royals. Gio González, who came within an out of a complete-game shutout in his last outing against these same Royals, takes the hill.
NOTES: This four-game slump saw the White Sox fall to 17th in the weekly OOTP MLB Power Rankings, between the Marlins and Mariners ... Bryce Harper leads the majors with a .382 batting average ... Vladimir Guerrero Jr. leads the AL, at .376 ...
AROUND THE MAJORS
In a rare, but delicious, event, all three stars of Sunday's play were on the Washington Nationals, having pounded hell out of the Chicago Cubs, 18-6. Trea Turner took First Star honors by going 3-for-4 with a double, two homers, six RBIs and two walks. Juan Soto was the Second Star after his 3-for-5, double, two-homer, eight-RBI, three-run, walk game. Third Star was Adam Eaton, who went 3-for-3 with a double, triple, five runs and three walks. The Cubs used nine pitchers in the debacle, with starter Kyle Hendricks (2 ⅓ innings, six runs) and reliever Craig Kimbrel (two-thirds of an inning, five runs, 13.50 season ERA) earning particular distinction.
The Dodgers scored runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth to improve to 17-5 after a 3-2 win over Pittsburgh. Gavin Lux tripled in Joc Pederson for the game-winner in the bottom of the ninth.
Ryan McMahon hit a leadoff homer in the bottom of the ninth to deliver the Rockies a 4-3 win over St. Louis.
It was a duel of aces reversing their fortunes, as Gerrit Cole (six innings, 12 Ks, lowered his ERA to 5.88) defeated Sonny Gray (four innings, seven earned, raised his ERA to 3.44) in the Yankees' 11-3 win over the Reds. Giancarlo Stanton hit his 11th home run in the win.
Cleveland scored seven runs in the top of the 10th to squeak by Boston, 12-5.
Shohei Ohtani hit his first home run of the season and Albert Pujols his second in the Angels' 9-5 win over Houston.
Max Kepler hit a one-out home run in the bottom of the 11th to guide the Twins to a 2-1 win over the Tigers.
Bryce Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies was named the NL Player of the Week, after hitting .481 (13-for-27) with three homers and 10 RBIs over eight games. On the season, Harper is hitting a best-in-majors .382, seven homers, 16 RBIs and 19 runs in 23 games.
In part thanks to four games against the White Sox, Ronald Guzman took AL Player of the Week honors, hitting .462 (12-for-26), with five homers and eight RBIs. On the season, Guzman is hitting .302, with five homers and 11 RBIs.
Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves is out of action for three weeks after getting hit in the head with a pitch against the San Francisco Giants. Freeman, hitting .247 on the season, suffered a concussion.