CHICAGO – Kevin Youkilis has been making his presence felt in the White Sox lineup with his relentless, patient approach at the plate.
Youkilis hit a game-ending RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Chicago White Sox a 5-4 win over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night.
In the 10th inning, Alejandro De Aza, who fouled a ball off his right knee during the at-bat, led off the inning with a walk against Rangers reliever Mike Adams (1-3) then stole second. On the ninth pitch after working back from an 0-2 count, Youkilis ended the game with an RBI single to score De Aza and prompting the crowd to shout "Youuuuk!" for the player acquired in a trade from the Red Sox on June 24.
"For me you try to describe to people the importance of Youk coming over. That at-bat really describes it the best, he is 0-2, he is grinding and it's just continuous and that is the kind of stuff is infectious throughout the lineup for us, just grinding out at-bats," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "It's good for everybody to see that. We have a lot of young guys. It's good for them to see it, but it shows just how good of a player he is."
In his first two games in Chicago, Youkilis is becoming as popular as he was in Boston.
"I'm having a great time with this team," Youkilis said. "It's always a lot more fun when you do stuff like that."
Youkilis was 3 for 6 with a home run and four RBIs in Tuesday's win.
" I had a little rut baseball-wise and statistically and a funk and hopefully this will be a thing where I can keep going forward and playing better ball," Youkilis said.
The White Sox have won six of its last eight games.
Josh Hamilton homered for the Rangers, who had won their previous seven series.
"I know they got pitching and I know we got pitching, and the pitching showed up," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "When you pitch there won't be any good hitting and that's the way it is. We had opportunities and we just didn't cash them in."
Addison Reed (2-1) pitched a scoreless 10th for the White Sox.
After a 19-2 drubbing by the White Sox on Tuesday, the Rangers scored three runs in the first inning off White Sox starter Dylan Axelrod. With two outs, Hamilton and Adrian Beltre hit back-to-back singles. Then Michael Young snapped an 0 for 13 skid with a two-run double and scored on Cruz's RBI single. Axelrod threw 25 pitches in 97-degree heat in the first inning.
The White Sox came right back and scored four runs to take the lead. With one out in the second, Alex Rios doubled to right off Rangers starter Scott Feldman. Feldman then hit A.J. Pierzynski with a pitch. Dayan Viciedo followed with an RBI single, then Alexei Ramirez lined a single to right. Right fielder David Murphy's throw short-hopped to catcher Mike Napoli.
Although he was in front of the plate and in position to tag Pierzynski out, Napoli got barreled over by Pierzynski and lost the ball. Gordon Beckham added a two-run double.
"It was better (after the second inning). Giving up the four spot right there after we put up three wasn't the ideal situation, but I was able to make better pitches after that. Second inning I was just kind of leaving the ball up and they were put the bat on the ball and find some holes," said Feldman.
Hamilton led off the third with his 26th home run of the season to tie the game at four.
Axelrod rebounded after a rough first inning to pitch 5 2-3 innings. He allowed four runs on seven hits.
Feldman pitched six innings and allowed four runs on six hits.
Before to the game, the Rangers announced that Yu Darvish will not make his final scheduled start of the first half as the Texas Rangers attempt to get him some extra rest in his first season in the majors.
Both the team and Darvish said Wednesday there is nothing physically wrong with the 25-year-old right-hander.
Darvish was scheduled to start Friday, but rookie Martin Perez will take his place.
NOTES: Before the game, the White Sox placed right-hander reliever Jesse Crain on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder strain, retroactive to June 24. The White Sox recalled RHP Deunte Heath from Triple-A Charlotte to replace Crain. ... Pierzynski caught his 1,500th career game, most among active catchers and 30th in major league history. ... Rangers SS Elvis Andrus made a nice diving stop and threw out Rios at first in the eighth inning. ... Ramirez's dad, Armando threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Alexei. Armando and his wife Edith saw their son Alexei play for the first time in five years, since Alexei left Cuba in 2007 to play for the White Sox.