If the Chicago White Sox are to salvage a split of their four-game series against the Texas Rangers on Sunday, they’ll need to find a new approach to pitching to Adolis Garcia.
The Rangers’ outfielder led his team to an 8-0 victory on Saturday night with five RBIs. His big game helped the Rangers to their second win in the series, which will wrap up Sunday in Arlington, Texas.
Garcia had a two-run single in the third inning and a bases-clearing double in the seventh and has 70 RBIs for the season.
“He has a knack for doing that,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said postgame. “He gets a lot of big hits. A lot of (slugging), too. I think that’s the big thing. He hits a lot of homers. A lot of doubles. He comes up big in a lot of big moments. You like that in the middle of your lineup. You thrive to get guys on base for guys like that.”
The White Sox have just four runs in the series and managed only two hits on Saturday. The win went to Dane Dunning, whom the White Sox traded to Texas in the deal that sent pitcher Lance Lynn to Chicago before the 2021 season.
In the series finale, the White Sox will send Lucas Giolito (7-6, 5.06 ERA) to the mound against fellow right-hander Spencer Howard (2-3, 6.82).
The White Sox remain in playoff contention and addressed a weakness — their bullpen — at the trade deadline, adding veteran left-hander Jake Diekman.
Chicago sent backup catcher Reese McGuire to the Boston Red Sox for Diekman on Monday.
Diekman has made two one-inning appearances for the White Sox, striking out four and allowing no hits.
Chicago closer Liam Hendriks and Diekman were teammates with the Oakland Athletics in 2019-20, and Hendriks said he’s happy to have Diekman on his side again.
“Not only a lefty, but a lefty with some of the best stuff and highest ceilings in the league,” Hendriks told the Chicago Sun-Times. “It’s hard to get those pieces.”
Diekman, 35, brings plenty of experience, and the southpaw can be an occasional closer option. Last season with the A’s, he logged seven saves, and he has 15 in his career.
As the White Sox upgraded their bullpen, the Rangers brought up some blinding speed.
Texas outfielder Bubba Thompson, who stole 49 bases at Triple-A Round Rock this year, already has two stolen bases in his first three games in the majors.
To Texas, Thompson projects to provide more than just being a stolen-base threat. The speedster hit .303 at Round Rock and had 13 home runs.
“I’m not taking anything for granted,” Thompson said in a Rangers’ pregame radio interview. “I’m trying to soak it all in and help my team win at the end of the day.”
Texas is using the second half, in part, to provide opportunity for younger players. Howard will make his 10th appearance and eighth start, as he is getting an extended look.
The 26-year-old has faced the White Sox once in his career, tossing three scoreless innings in relief.
The Rangers scored four runs off Giolito in their 11-9 win on June 11, though he didn’t figure in the decision. In his career, Giolito is 2-0 in three starts with a 3.86 ERA against Texas.
— Field Level Media