Ross, Rangers can't contain big inning vs. White Sox

ARLINGTON, Texas - In his fourth outing as a starter, Robbie Ross Jr. mostly did what he expects to do in that role Sunday. He worked quickly. He kept his pitch count down and the overwhelming majority of his pitches were strikes. He hasn't walked a batter in his last 13 innings, and he struck out a career-high eight Sunday.

None of that was enough to avoid a 16-2 loss to the White Sox, however. The Texas offense couldn't break through against Chicago starter Erik Johnson, who allowed only one hit but walked five batters in five innings. And a throwing error on a potential double-play ball by Rangers third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff led to three unearned runs in the third inning -- two on Jose Abreu's homer.

After Ross left in the sixth, the game got out of hand when White Sox leadoff hitter Marcus Semien hit a two-out, bases-loaded triple to give the White Sox an 8-2 lead. Ross was charged with seven runs, four earned, on seven hits. He threw 86 pitches, including 65 strikes.

Chicago tacked on seven runs in the top of the ninth to cinch the biggest margin of defeat the Rangers have been dealt this season.

The pivotal sixth inning started with a Dayan Viciedo double off Ross, who struck out the next batter, Alexei Ramirez. But the third strike was a wild pitch that allowed Ramirez to reach first base.

The next batter, Alejandro De Aza, was called out on an instant replay of a hit by pitch -- umpires originally ruled that Alejandro De Aza, who appeared to be hit on the hand, was out on a checked swing. Manager Robin Ventura challenged the ruling, but replay officials allowed the original call, that De Aza was not hit by a pitch, to stand.   

De Aza was the last batter Ross faced before Shawn Tolleson relieved him, and Tolleson got a quick strikeout for the second out. Rangers manager Ron Washington decided to intentionally walk No. 9 hitter Jordan Danks, a lefty who had already homered off the ribbon scoreboard in front of the upper deck in right field in the third inning.

Danks entered Sunday a career .223 hitter with a .332 slugging percentage; Semien was a .222 hitter with a .347 slugging percentage. Washington was going for the right-hander vs. right-hander matchup by walking Danks, but the move backfired when Semien drove a ball that clanked off the wall in left-center and cleared the bases.

Semien finished 4-for-6 with 4 RBIs, while Viciedo had two big hits -- the leadoff double in the sixth and a solo homer off Tolleson in the seventh.

The Rangers worked leadoff walks in each of the first four innings, but only scored twice in those frames. Josh Wilson walked to open the third inning, took third base on Leonys Martin's single and scored on Shin-Soo Choo's sacrifice fly. In the fourth, Elvis Andrus walked, stole second, reached third on an error and scored on a wild pitch. Andrus now leads the American League with nine stolen bases.

Entering Sunday, the Rangers were riding a five-game winning streak, the longest in the Major Leagues this season. They finished their 10-game, 10-day homestand at 7-3.

With the game essentially decided to start the eighth inning, newly arrived Rangers prospect Luis Sardinas made his MLB debut at shortstop and collected a single in his first at-bat.

Information for this story provided by the Texas Rangers and

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