Triple play helps White Sox defeat Rangers

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[April 23, 2016]  CHICAGO -- More than an hour after taking part in his first big league triple play, Chicago White Sox right fielder Adam Eaton could not stop smiling.

"Besides marrying my wife and the birth of my kid, to be honest with you, that's high up there," Eaton said. "It was unbelievable. I've never had that much fun on a ball field."

Judging by the grins in the Chicago locker room, many of Eaton's teammates would agree.

Left-hander Jose Quintana pitched seven scoreless innings, and the White Sox turned the first triple play of the season in a 5-0 victory over the Texas Rangers on Friday.

All Rangers manager Jeff Banister could do was offer a heavy sigh and shake his head at the strangeness of the triple play, which was scored 9-3-2-6-2-5.

"I guess it was a full moon," Banister said.

Banister was correct.

Beneath the full moon, the Rangers loaded the bases with nobody out in the seventh inning. Mitch Moreland hit a hard line drive toward the corner in right field.

Eaton made a running catch and fired a throw to first base to try to double off Ian Desmond. Desmond beat the throw but overran first and was tagged out by Jose Abreu, who then threw to home plate to catcher Dioner Navarro.

Navarro saw Adrian Beltre stuck in no-man's land between second and third and whipped a throw to shortstop Tyler Saladino, who eventually threw back to home plate to catch Prince Fielder in a rundown.

The sequence marked the White Sox first triple play since Sept. 18, 2006.

"Well, I never saw that before," Quintana said. "That was a rush."

Abreu agreed.

"I never have been in one before," Abreu said through a translator. "To be part of this one was special. It was a very, very good play."

Melky Cabrera went 2-for-4 and scored a pair of runs to lead the White Sox at the plate. Chicago (11-6) earned its third win in the past four games.

Beltre and Fielder managed two hits apiece for the Rangers, who were shut out for the first time this season. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for Texas (10-7).

Quintana (2-1) limited the Rangers to four hits. He walked two and struck out four.

Before Friday, Texas had scored at least five runs in five of its past six games. Banister credited Quintana with keeping Rangers hitters off balance.

"He threw the ball very well," Banister said. "He worked on both sides of the plate, and he had a good fastball, off-speed mix tonight."

Left-hander Martin Perez (0-2) drew the loss after giving up five runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings.

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The White Sox scored three runs in the sixth inning to pull ahead 5-0. Brett Lawrie hit a two-run double, and Jerry Sands singled to drive in Lawrie.

The White Sox opened the scoring in the second inning when Cabrera scored on a wild pitch. Rangers catcher Bryan Holaday could not find the ball after he blocked a pitch in the dirt and it scooted several feet away. Cabrera raced in from third base.

Abreu put the White Sox on top 2-0 with a sacrifice fly in the third inning. Abreu's deep fly ball to center field scored Eaton, who led off the inning with an opposite-field double.

"Offensively, we haven't had a complete game," Eaton said. "I thought tonight we got guys on, we got guys in, we got them over. We did the fundamentals correctly, and that's good to see."

Beltre said the triple play spoiled a chance for a late-inning comeback.

"(Quintana) was pitching great the whole game," Beltre said. "We couldn't figure him out in the beginning, but in that inning we were cracking up him up a little bit and we thought that was our break to score some runs."

NOTES: White Sox OF/DH Avisail Garcia was kept out of the starting lineup for the second time in the past three games. He entered Friday hitting .146 with two home runs and five RBIs in 14 games. "This is not picking on him because we have plenty to go around," Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. "But we expect him to do better and get off the slump he's on right now." ... Rangers OF Nomar Mazara was not in the starting lineup for the first time since making his major league debut on April 10. OF Ryan Rua started in Mazara's place. ... White Sox 1B/DH Jerry Sands made his fourth start of the season. ... Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre played his 2,500th career game at third base. The only player with more games at the position is Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson with 2,870.

[ 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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