ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - The Rangers are ready for Adrian Beltre's bat - and the weather - to warm up.
Hector Santiago allowed two hits in five-plus innings filling in for Jake Peavy on Thursday night, Tyler Flowers hit a three-run homer and the Chicago White Sox beat Texas 3-1, handing the Rangers their first series loss of the season.
Three weeks after the Rangers had the coldest day game at their home ballpark three weeks ago, they shivered through a slightly less-cold one that was still their coldest May game - 44 degrees.
Beltre accounted for the only Texas run - and the only hit in the first five innings off Santiago - with his sixth homer of the season in the second inning, but he stranded five runners late and is hitting.215.
``On one level it's kind of comforting for a guy like me to see even a guy like Adrian can struggle a little bit,' said Texas designated hitter Lance Berkman, who was hitless with a pair walks. ``But I don't expect that's going to be the case for very much longer.'
The 25-year-old Santiago was supposed to replace Gavin Floyd on Friday night in Kansas City, where the forecast is for temperatures barely above freezing a day after the Royals were snowed out against Tampa Bay. Instead, Santiago replaced Peavy, sidelined by back spasms.
``Going into it as a starter you always say you know when you're going to throw, but I kind of had prepared for tomorrow,' said Santiago, who had six strikeouts and two walks in his first start of the season and fifth of his career. ``I felt fine and warming up I felt really good. Nothing was different than a regular day.'
Flowers' drive just inside the foul pole in left field was the third straight hit after Texas right-hander Justin Grimm (2-1) retired 10 in a row on the day he was chosen AL rookie of the month.
Flowers did his part before the game, too, easing his battery mate's mind after Peavy's effort to loosen up his back failed.
``He was talking to me before the game, `Hey do you want to go over the lineup?'' `` Flowers said, ``and I was like, `Do you?' and he said, `Not really.' And I was like `Good, just throw what I put down and we'll go from there.' He's one of those guys that I think is more effective because he doesn't overthink things.'
Addison Reed pitched around two of Chicago's seven walks, striking out the side in the ninth for his 10th save and second in two nights.
The game-time temperature was 37 degrees cooler than the previous night. It was a 40-degree difference on April 10, when the temperature at first pitch was 39 degrees for 2-0 loss to Tampa Bay in a day game after it had been 79 the night before.
``It's miserable,' Berkman said. ``I've been here a long time, and I can't remember a day this cold in May.'
The Rangers were the last team in the majors without a series loss, but now they've gone two series without winning after splitting four games with Minnesota last weekend. The White Sox won two straight after Texas took the opener.
Grimm, who had a 1.59 ERA in three April starts to earn rookie of the month honors, was cruising with two outs in the sixth when Conor Gillaspie and Alexei Ramirez singled before Flowers hit his fourth homer of the season.
After walking three in the first 2 1-3 innings, Grimm didn't give up another free pass and tied his career high of nine strikeouts set last month against Seattle. He allowed six hits in 6 2-3 innings.
``He really had good stuff working tonight,' Rangers manager Ron Washington said. ``Just left one in the wrong spot to Flowers.'
Santiago, whose first seven appearances this season were in relief, gave up his second hit when Ian Kinsler doubled with one out in the sixth, and he was replaced by Matt Lindstrom after walking Elvis Andrus. Lindstrom threw a wild pitch and walked Berkman to load the bases, but got Beltre to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Beltre struck out on a slow breaking ball from Jesse Crain with two runners on base in the eighth.
``He's going to be the run producer,' Washington said. ``How close, I don't know. I can tell you this. What you see now, you won't see through the season.'
NOTES: Rangers LF David Murphy was out of the starting lineup for the third straight game, but manager Ron Washington said the slumping left-handed hitter wasn't being demoted to a platoon with Jeff Baker. Washington said he was just riding Baker's hot bat. Baker started the day at .360 and homered in both of the first two games against the White Sox. Murphy was hitting .174. ... Rangers prospect Mike Olt will see another eye specialist after one doctor didn't see anything out of the ordinary. Olt has been sidelined for a week, complaining of vision problems. He's hitting .139 at Triple-A.
The Associated Press News Service
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