Tyler Flowers and Jose Abreu drive in five runs for a White Sox win
CHICAGO — In his first at-bat Monday night, Tyler Flowers of the Chicago White Sox hit a drive that bounced off the top of the wall in right field and back into play. He had to stop at third base with a triple. Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre told Flowers it was too bad he didn’t get credit for a home run.
“I was like, `I’m not too worried about it,'” the catcher said. “I’ll probably hit another homer. I don’t know if I’ll get another triple.”
Flowers homered in his next at-bat, drove in three runs and combined with rookie slugger Jose Abreu, who had two hits and two RBIs, to lead the White Sox to a rain-shortened 5-3 victory over the Rangers. The game was called in the bottom of the seventh inning following a 57-minute delay. Flowers went 3-for-3 to raise his batting average to .252 after it dropped to .213 last month. He scored two runs, and the White Sox snapped a two-game losing streak.
“Tyler had a great night,” Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. “The way he’s been swinging the bat and doing things, you feel pretty confident when he goes up there.”
Abreu, who has 86 RBIs, went 2-for-3 on the day he was named the American League’s player and rookie of the month for July.
Rougned Odor had a two-run homer for Texas, which has lost four straight.
Hector Noesi (6-8) bounced back from a rough outing at Detroit in his previous start — six runs in six innings — to allow one earned run and four hits in seven innings. He was credited with a complete game because the game was called.
Texas starter Nick Martinez (1-8) allowed five runs and eight hits in five-plus innings. The rookie has lost his past seven decisions.
The White Sox, who trailed 3-0 early, pulled within a run on a two-run single by Abreu in the third inning and tied it in the fifth on a leadoff homer by Flowers. In the sixth, with the rain starting to fall, Dayan Viciedo led off with a single, and Conor Gillaspie followed with a double to knock out Martinez. With the infield playing in, right-hander Nate Adcock came on to strike out Gordon Beckham and Alejandro De Aza, but Flowers came through with a two-out single to drive in both runs for a 5-3 Chicago lead.
“We were close to getting out of that inning,” Texas manager Ron Washington said. “We just didn’t execute our last pitch, and Flowers, who was the star of the game tonight, took advantage of it.”
The score was 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh, when the rain intensified and the game was delayed for the second time. There was a 22-minute delay at the start, even though it wasn’t raining, because of showers in the vicinity.
Abreu, who batted .374 with six home runs and 19 RBIs in July, is the first rookie to win the player of the month award twice and fourth to be named rookie of the month three times. The Cuban slugger, who entered the game leading the majors in homers and RBIs, was asked if he is surprised by his sudden success.
“I don’t really like to talk about myself, but I am surprised,” he said through a translator. “I wasn’t expecting to have all this success — definitely not all these awards.”
Rangers: Catcher Geovany Soto (strained groin) is expected to be activated for the series with the Houston Astros starting on Friday.
White Sox: De Aza left the game after the sixth inning with a bruised left knee after he fouled a pitch off his leg. Right-hander Zach Putnam (shoulder inflammation) is expected to be activated from the 15-day disabled when he’s eligible Friday. Putnam has a 3-2 record with three saves and a 2.35 ERA and has been one of the few bright spots in the bullpen this season.
“He’s throwing tomorrow, so he should be available when his time’s up,” Ventura said.
Right-hander Colby Lewis (7-8, 5.98) faces left-hander John Danks (9-6, 4.50) on Tuesday in the second game of the three-game set.
*Photo courtesy of Brian Kersey/Getty Images