ChiSox end opening series with 5-0 loss at Texas

Published April 9, 2012 4:45AM (EDT)

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Gavin Floyd felt like his pitches were working for him. There were a few, though, that the Chicago White Sox right-hander would like to have back from his season debut.

Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre and David Murphy all homered off Floyd, and the two-time defending American League champion Texas Rangers won 5-0 on Sunday night to wrap up Chicago's season-opening series for new manager Robin Ventura.

"When you don't get the results you want and when they are getting hits, they're producing runs, so it is a little frustrating," Floyd said. "But at the same time, you just keep on doing your thing, try to refine things, try to learn from it and get ready for the next time."

Floyd (0-1) hasn't won since August, having gone 0-3 in his five September starts to end last season.

Matt Harrison (1-0) threw six scoreless innings for the Rangers, who won two of three in the series and got two nifty inning-ending catches in center field from Hamilton in the finale.

"Harrison pitched great. It's one of those nights where you just tip your hat to him," Ventura said. "He pitched great and they maximized everything they got off of Gavin. Five runs on six hits, they have that kind of power and you just go on to play another day."

The White Sox play three games in Cleveland before their home opener Friday against Detroit.

Harrison had barely settled on the bench after getting out of a jam to end the sixth inning, striking out A.J. Pierzynski with two runners on base, when Hamilton quickly got the left-hander back on his feet.

Hamilton's first homer of the season was a 441-foot blast that landed in the second deck of seats high above the Rangers bullpen in right-center field.

"It's amazing, no matter how many times you see it," Harrison said. "You keep waiting for him to hit one out of the stadium. He has unbelievable power, and he plays great defense."

Along with several teammates, Harrison jumped up and watched in awe as the ball that kept rising and landed several rows deep.

"He got through that baby like he hits them off me during BP," manager Ron Washington said.

Harrison, a 14-game winner last season who had a 1.69 ERA in four Cactus League starts this spring, struck out three and walked two while giving up four hits in six innings.

Mark Lowe, Robbie Ross and Koji Uehara each worked a scoreless inning of relief.

After Murphy pulled a ball into that second deck in the third, closer to the line for a 396-foot shot and a 1-0 lead, Harrison gave up a leadoff double to Gordon Beckham in the top of the fourth.

But with one out, Harrison reacted to Paul Konerko's comebacker by reaching down between his legs to grab the ball and then catch Beckham off third base.

"The biggest key in the game," Harrison said. "I kind of stuck my glove down there and the ball went in it."

In the bottom of that inning, Hamilton had a leadoff single before Beltre's two-run shot landed in the Rangers bullpen for a 3-0 lead.

Hamilton made a diving catch in the left-center gap on a slicing fly ball hit by Alejandro De Aza in the seventh. He ended the second when he reached out on the run to stab a liner by Pierzynski in the right-center gap before tumbling to the ground.

Floyd struck out three and walked two. He allowed only one earned run over 14 innings in two games last year against the Rangers, who this time got five runs (four earned) in 5 2-3 innings against the right-hander.

"Every once in a while, they're going to run into one," Ventura said. "They're lethal that way."

NOTES: Texas opens a four-game series at home Monday night against AL West rival Seattle, with 25-year-old Yu Darvish making his much-anticipated major league debut. The right-hander, who signed a five-year deal with the Rangers this winter, was 93-38 with a 1.99 ERA in 167 games the past seven seasons in Japan's Pacific League. ... Harrison threw 25 of 30 pitches the first two innings for strikes. That included 11 pitches to Pierzynski. ... Two relievers made their major league debuts, Nate Jones for Chicago and Ross. Both walked their first batter. Jones, like Ross, worked a scoreless inning. ... LHP Chris Sale will make his first major league start Monday for the White Sox. His first 79 appearances were as a reliever.


By Salon Staff

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