Latos pitches White Sox past Rangers

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[April 25, 2016]  CHICAGO -- After a forgettable 2015 season, Mat Latos is making quite a comeback.

The right­hander has won his first four starts, equaling his victory total of last season. He allowed a run in six innings as the Chicago White Sox beat the Texas Rangers 4­1 on Sunday.

"I've been grateful and fortunate," Latos said. "The offense has picked me up, swung the bat really well on days that I've pitched. I've been able to keep zeroes on the board, and the defense has shown up behind me."

After sweeping the Rangers at U.S. Cellular Field for the first time since 2012, the White Sox lead the American League with 13 wins.

Latos worked out of jams as he allowed a season­high seven hits. He gave up six combined hits in his previous three starts. He is 4­0 after he went 4­10 with a 4.95 ERA with three teams last season.

"I battled today," Latos said. "I didn't have good fastball command. I fell behind in the count early, I was lucky, I got away with a couple pitches. The defense picked me up and so did the offense."


With runners at the corners in the sixth, Latos fielded a comebacker to begin an inning­ending double play. He pumped his fist as he walked toward the dugout.

"One hundred pitches in, five innings, going into the sixth, it was a little tough and it takes a little toll on your body," Latos said. "I was kind of running on fumes there, the last part, and I was lucky to get a ground ball."

Latos got another inning­ending double play in the fifth after Rougned Odor singled, stole second and advanced on a groundout.

"He's been around," catcher Dioner Navarro said. "He knows what it takes."

Rangers manager Jeff Banister gave credit to Latos.

"We had some good at­bats," Banister said. "Any time we got some things going, he made some pitches."

Meanwhile, Navarro carried the offense in his first game as the White Sox everyday catcher after Alex Avila went on the disabled list Sunday for a strained right hamstring. Navarro homered and had a sacrifice fly.

"My hitting, no worries. I know I can hit," Navarro said. "It was just a matter of time. I'm going to have a little more playing time, so go out there and do my job."

Melky Cabrera scored on a wild pitch to give Chicago the lead in the fifth. Navarro's sacrifice fly added another run.

Navarro's first home run of the season tied it 1­1 in the third.

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Nomar Mazara hit his second home run, a solo shot, for a 1­0 Rangers' lead in the first. It was the first homer Latos has allowed this season.

Brett Lawrie hit an RBI single for an insurance run in the eighth.

Texas starter Derek Holland (2­1) allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings.

"We got a solid start," Banister said. "Sometimes you tip your hat to the guy across the way. He's been hot, pitching well."

The Rangers put two on in the eighth before Nate Jones struck out Mitch Moreland and got Elvis Andrus to fly out. David Robertson struck out the side in the ninth for his seventh save in eight chances.

The White Sox have won five of six. Texas (10­9) won four straight before losing three consecutive to Chicago.

"It was tough to lose three in a row, but I felt like we got some solid starting pitching in this series and played some good defense," Banister said.

NOTES: The White Sox placed C Alex Avila (strained right hamstring) on the 15­day disabled list and recalled C Kevan Smith from Triple­A Charlotte before Sunday's game. Avila was injured running the bases during Saturday's game against the Rangers. Smith, who was drafted in the seventh round in 2011, has yet to play in the majors. He was hitting .345 at Triple­A. ... Rangers LHP Cole Hamels was scratched from Monday's start against the Yankees due to a strained left groin. Hamels expressed little concern about the injury and is expected to miss just one start. ... LHP Cesar Ramos will start Monday against New York. ... RHP Miguel Gonzalez will start for the White Sox on Monday against Toronto. LHP Chris Sale will get an extra day of rest and start Tuesday against the Blue Jays.

[© 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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