CHICAGO (AP) The Texas Rangers decided to tweak their lineup and move Josh Jung up two spots to No. 3 in the order facing a left-handed starting pitcher. The rookie slugger gave them just the sort of jolt they wanted.
Jung hit his 15th home run, Jonah Heim had a late two-run single and Texas beat the Chicago White Sox 5-2 on Monday night.
A day after wiping out six-run deficit in a win over Toronto, the Rangers hung on after Jung helped them grab a 3-0 lead. Heim broke open a 3-2 game with a two-run single in the seventh.
Andrew Heaney (5-4) pitched neatly into the sixth after struggling in three previous starts. Josh Sborz pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth, and the Rangers opened the three-game series on a winning note after taking two of three from the Blue Jays.
“It's a good way to start the road trip,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said.
Chicago lost for the seventh time in nine games.
Jung had three hits after Bochy decided to have him bat third and left-handed hitter Nathaniel Lowe drop to the fifth spot, with the White Sox starting southpaw Tanner Banks. He singled and scored in the first and hit a solo homer in the third.
“He's a winning-type player,” Bochy said. “He's good at big situations. He has that poise, that calmness about him, yet he's very amped up when he's playing the game. He plays with a lot of energy, and that's what you love about him. But he's able to control that.”
Lowe singled and scored in the fourth against Tanner Banks (0-2) to make it 3-0.
Chicago closed to to 3-2 in the sixth when Andrew Vaughn and Luis Robert Jr. hit consecutive homers against Andrew Heaney, the third time this season the White Sox went deep back to back. Robert is third in the AL with 18 homers, trailing Shohei Ohtani (24) and Aaron Judge (19).
Texas extended its lead to 5-2 in the seventh on Heim's two-run, two-out single against Aaron Bummer.
Chicago loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, only to come away empty-handed when Sborz struck out Yasmani Grandal and Jake Burger.
Will Smith worked the ninth for his 13th save in 14 chances. He walked Clint Frazier leading off and gave up a single to Elvis Andrus before retiring the next three batters
Heaney gave up two runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings. The left-hander had six strikeouts and no walks after posting a 5.40 ERA in his previous three outings.
The White Sox, meanwhile, continue to hold out hope they can turn around their season.
"I was talking to Pedro before the game and I was like ‘man we keep losing, but we’re not losing ground.’ We got 97 games left I think. So, there’s time to do it, but it’s gotta start sooner rather than later.”
Banks allowed three runs and five hits in 3 2/3 innings in his first big league start as the White Sox used him as the opener in a bullpen game. It ended a streak of 191 consecutive starts for Chicago by right-handers since Dallas Keuchel against Boston on May 26, 2022.
RHP Lance Lynn was placed on the bereavement list, one day after he tied a franchise record with 16 strikeouts in a loss at Seattle. Chicago also placed INF Romy Gonzalez (right shoulder inflammation) on the 10-day injured list, and recalled RHP Nick Padilla from Triple-A Charlotte and INF José Rodríguez from Double-A Birmingham.
White Sox: SS Tim Anderson (sore right shoulder) was out of the lineup for the second straight game. GM Rick Hahn said he was examined by doctors on Monday and could return during this series. ... Hahn said the White Sox hope to get closer Liam Hendriks (right elbow inflammation) throwing “in the next week or so.” Hendriks recently got a cortisone shot and was to have a PRP injection, treatments that were cleared by his oncologist since he is in remission from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
RHP Nathan Eovaldi (9-3, 2.59 ERA) looks to bounce back from a rare loss for Texas, while RHP Dylan Cease (3-3, 4.31) gets the ball for the White Sox.
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