Chicago White Sox’s Luis Robert, right, steals second base as Texas Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien tries to catch the ball during the first inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Sunday, June 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
By SARAH TROTTO Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) — Jonah Heim hit a two-run single in the 12th inning and the Texas Rangers turned a double play on a ball hit to the warning track to end an 8-6 win over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.
Embattled manager Tony La Russa and the White Sox have lost four of five. This one began with right-hander Michael Kopech leaving with right knee discomfort after 13 pitches and ended with an unusual double play in the 12th.
José Abreu struck out looking against Kolby Allard leading off, then Jake Burger hit a fly to the warning track in left. Charlie Culberson caught the ball, then threw out automatic runner Luis Robert trying to tag up and take third. Robert overslid the base and was tagged easily by Ezequiel Duran, setting off a loud round of boos.
“Felt like it wasn’t a smart move to try to advance when you’re down by two,” Culberson said. “Luckily, I made a good throw, and Ezequiel kept the tag on him. So it worked out in our favor.”
La Russa agreed.
“Yeah, you can’t make that out,” La Russa said. “His run means nothing, right? I’ll make sure I explain, we like his aggressiveness and there’s a place for it, but that’s one place where, you just read the scoreboard, (it) always should dictate how much you want to push, when you should push. He’s a quick learner.”
In the top of the inning, Adolis García singled off Matt Foster (1-2) and scored on Heim’s single. A review confirmed García was safe on the slide.
Duran hit a three-run homer off José Ruiz in the 11th, but the Rangers surrendered their 6-3 lead.
“Duran makes a mistake but then comes back,” manager Chris Woodward said. “I swear this kid doesn’t feel anything. He’s got as slow a heartbeat as I’ve ever seen.”
Seby Zavala had a sac fly off Joe Barlow (2-1) in the bottom of the inning. Danny Mendick tripled when Culberson and center fielder Eli White collided, cutting the deficit to one. AJ Pollock then singled to tie it.
Culberson said he lost the ball in the sun. White injured his right wrist and was sent for X-rays.
“I don’t know if it hit me or hit the ground,” Culberson said. “Very unfortunate.”
White homered and had a sac fly for the Rangers, who won for just the fifth time in 12 games. García added three hits.
Andrew Vaughn’s two-run single against Dennis Santana tied it for Chicago in the seventh after Duran’s error.
Kopech (2-2, 1.92 ERA) was checked on by the training staff with a full count and two outs against García. Kopech threw a warmup pitch before spiking the baseball in frustration and walking to the dugout to applause. La Russa said Kopech might be able to pitch Sunday.
“I felt a twinge, pinch or pop or whatever you want to call it,” Kopech said. “I felt like I couldn’t get on it again.
“We’re going to take it day-by-day, but it’s looking like I can be back out there soon.”
Reynaldo López replaced Kopech and struck out García. López threw two scoreless innings as an opener Friday when the White Sox beat the Rangers 8-3. Chicago has seven players on the injured list.
Left fielder Pollock robbed Marcus Semien of an extra-base hit with a leaping grab for the first out. Kopech then got Corey Seager to ground out.
The Kopech injury delivers another blow to the White Sox during an eventful homestand. Fans chanted “Fire Tony!” after Chicago blew a five-run lead in an 11-9 loss to the Rangers in 10 innings Saturday and again Sunday.
La Russa also received scrutiny after ordering an unconventional intentional walk Thursday in a loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The reigning AL champion White Sox are 27-31.
Lopez struck out three and allowed a hit in 1 1/3 innings. Johnny Cueto, who was scheduled to start Monday at Detroit, replaced him. Cueto allowed a leadoff single to Zach Reks before White hit his third homer for a 2-1 Rangers lead. It was Reks’ first career multihit game.
Cueto allowed three runs in five innings.
Right-hander Jon Gray gave up a run and struck out 10 in six innings. Burger’s single put the White Sox ahead in the first.
The White Sox designated DH/OF Yermín Mercedes for assignment to make room for Zavala, optioned RHP Davis Martin to Triple-A Charlotte and recalled Banks from Charlotte.
White Sox: La Russa said All-Star closer Liam Hendriks was unavailable, but did not explain why. He said Hendriks should be available Monday. … C Yasmani Grandal (left hamstring tightness) will receive treatment the next couple days and avoid the injured list, La Russa said. … LHP Aaron Bummer (left lat strain) went on the 15-day IL, retroactive to Thursday. … RHP Joe Kelly (left hamstring strain) said his simulated game Sunday went well. Kelly and SS Tim Anderson (right groin strain) are expected to begin rehab assignments soon.
Rangers: LHP Taylor Hearn (4-4, 5.40 ERA) is scheduled to start Monday’s series opener against Houston and RHP Cristian Javier (3-3, 3.22).
White Sox: RHP Lance Lynn (right knee surgery) will return from the IL and start Monday against Detroit and RHP Rony Garcia (0-1, 4.50).