Tuesday, August 05, 2014
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Flowers' big game carries White Sox past Rangers

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[August 05, 2014]  CHICAGO -- The only thing that stopped Tyler Flowers on Monday night was a torrential downpour.

The White Sox catcher went 3-for-3, drove in three runs and scored twice in Chicago's 5-3 victory against the Texas Rangers at U.S. Cellular Field, finishing a double short of hitting for the cycle in a rain-shortened game that lasted seven innings.

"That was the last thing on my mind," Flowers said of losing his cycle bid. "I really didn't think about it until the other guys started giving me a hard time."

Flowers had big hits each of his first three trips to the plate. He tripled and scored in the third inning, hit a solo homer to start the fifth and singled home two runs with two outs in the sixth in what turned out to be the decisive rally.

Flowers is hitting .458 with six doubles, three home runs, a triple and 13 RBIs in his past 14 games, raising his average from .213 to .252.

"I actually felt terrible (at the plate)," he said. "Baseball's a funny game. I felt awful and I had a really good game."

The White Sox (55-58) ended a two-game skid.

The Rangers (43-69), who own the worst record in the majors, dropped their fourth straight. Once again, they had trouble getting Flowers out. He's now hitting .500 (7-for-14) against Texas this season.

"I look back on the past two years, and Flowers has certainly been doing well against us," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He may not have been hitting home runs against everyone else, but he finds a way to hit a ball out of the ballpark against us some kind of way. Tonight, he hit the ball off the wall, then he catches a hanger (for a homer) and then we hang another breaking ball and he just snaps it into right field."

Flowers even got it done defensively, throwing out Jim Adduci trying to steal second to end the top of the sixth.

Meanwhile, right-hander Hector Noesi (6-8) made a quality start for the White Sox against his former team. In seven innings, he allowed three runs (one earned) on four hits and struck out six. The White Sox claimed Noesi off waivers April 25, after they tagged him for seven runs in one inning of relief just five days prior.

What is the biggest difference between then and now?

"Well, with the Rangers I was in the bullpen and they never gave me the opportunity to start," Noesi said. "(The White Sox) gave me the chance and they believed in me, so I had to make an adjustment for that."

Texas right-hander Nick Martinez (1-8) lasted five-plus innings and gave up five runs on eight hits and three walks.

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Flowers wasn't the only offensive hero for Chicago. Rookie first baseman Jose Abreu, chosen the American League's Player and Rookie of the Month for July earlier in the day, went 2-for-3 and lined a two-run single in the third for the White Sox's first two runs.

The Rangers took a 1-0 lead in the first. Shortstop Elvis Andrus singled with one out in the first, extending his hitting streak to 11 games, and third baseman Adrian Beltre singled him home. Texas made it 3-0 in the second by capitalizing on an error by Noesi, who dropped a throw while running to cover first on a grounder.

His next pitch was hit over the fence in right by second baseman Rougned Odor.

Chicago responded with two runs in the third to make it 3-2 on Abreu's single with the bases loaded. The White Sox tied it 3-3 in the fifth on Flowers' homer.

"We just didn't execute our last pitch (in the sixth), and Flowers, who was the star of the game tonight, took advantage of it," Washington said. "We started putting runs on the board, but we have to find ways to continue, and we just didn't do it."

NOTES: White Sox 1B Jose Abreu was selected the American League Player of the Month and Rookie of the Month for July. The Cuban-born Abreu, 27, is the first rookie in major league history to win a league player of the month honor twice. He hit .374 with 11 doubles, six home runs and 19 RBIs in July with a .432 on-base percentage and .667 slugging percentage. He also hit safely in 24 of 25 games. ... Chicago purchased the contract of RHP Maikel Cleto from Triple-A Charlotte and added him to the bullpen. ... White Sox manager said RF Avisail Garcia has a bruised triceps muscle in his left arm after being hit with a pitch Sunday in the third game of his rehab stint with Charlotte. ... Mike Carp started at first base for the Rangers a day after being claimed off waivers from the Boston Red Sox. He went 0-for-2 with a walk.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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