ARLINGTON, Texas -- Adam Dunn made a late pitch to USATF on Friday night: bring me to London.
The White Sox designated hitter made use of his wheels twice late in a 9-5 victory over the Texas Rangers in front of 47,638 at Rangers Ballpark. Dunns second stolen base of the season scored a crucial insurance run in the seventh inning and he came all the way around from first base on Alex Rios RBI double two innings later.
Those plays helped the White Sox hold off the Rangers in a game in which leadoff hitter and center fielder Alejandro De Aza exited with an unknown injury.
Chris Sale (12-3) earned the victory even though he matched his season-high for earned runs allowed -- five -- and the White Sox gained a game on both Detroit and Cleveland in the American League Central. They are now 1 12 games up on the Tigers.
The White Sox clutched a 5-4 lead when Dunn walked with one out in the seventh inning.
Ten days after he stole his first base in four seasons, Dunn, who promised the previous theft wouldnt be his last, took off when Alexi Ogando didnt pay attention. Catcher Yorvit Torrealbas throw to second skipped into center field and Dunn raced to third. After Paul Konerko was hit by a pitch, Rios had an RBI fielders choice to provide the extra run.
Two innings later, Dunn walked against Ogando with the White Sox leading 6-5. Rios then doubled off the left-field wall and Dunn scored from first. Alexei Ramirez, who went 2-for-5, followed with a two-run homer to left for a 9-5 lead.
Ramirez blast erased any doubts about his condition after a seventh-inning collision with De Aza. The two converged on Craig Gentrys fly to shallow center and smacked into each other. Both writhed in pain on the ground and De Aza ultimately left the game.
Sales fastball topped out at 92 mph and most of his outing included him using a mix of sliders and changeups to keep Texas hitters off-balance. Even so, the White Sox first-year starter managed to keep out of trouble and maintain the lead his team regained for him after the Rangers scored four times in the first inning.
With the game tied at 1 in the first, Nelson Cruz followed solid singles by Adrian Beltre and Michael Young with a three-run homer to right for a 4-1 lead. But Sale settled down.
He retired 14 of 18 batters after Cruz homered, including striking out Elvis Andrus, Josh Hamilton and Beltre in order in the fifth inning after starting the frame with a hit batter and a walk.
A leadoff walk to Torrealba cost Sale in his final inning as the Rangers scored once against the White Sox bullpen. Sale gave up five earned runs and six hits in 6 13 innings. He struck out six and walked two.
The White Sox struck first against a very pedestrian Yu Darvish. Youkilis worked a walk and Dunn singled when Hamilton couldnt track his pop up to shallow left field. Konerko then singled and Rios gave the White Sox a 1-0 lead with a sacrifice fly. Rios had three RBIs.
Youkilis got the Sox right back into the contest in the second inning. With two outs, Darvish left a 0-2 fastball over the plate and Youkilis ripped it 425 feet to center to cut the Rangers lead to 4-3.
Two innings later, De Aza followed a single by Tyler Flowers and a hustle-double by Gordon Beckham with a two-run single through the right side of the infield for a 5-4 lead.
Darvish allowed six runs -- five earned -- and eight hits while walking three in 6 13 innings.