ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -Mark Kotsay made sure a late night - or, more aptly, early morning - didn't last any longer. He had the only extra-base hit for the Chicago White Sox, and it was a big one.
Kotsay had a two-out, two-run double in the ninth inning and the White Sox beat the AL West-leading Texas Rangers 5-3 on Friday night in a game that started about 2 1/2 hours late because of rain.
The White Sox had 12 singles before Kotsay - struggling at .220 - hit a sinking liner to left that ricocheted off the glove of a diving Josh Hamilton. That snapped a 3-all tie after they had trailed going into the seventh.
``Hey, I'll take them (singles). We made things happen. We took advantage when we had people on base,' Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said. ``I was glad for him because he's been swinging the bat well but the ball hadn't been falling.'
After Paul Konerko reached on a fielder's choice, Brent Lillibridge came on as a pinch-runner and moved up when Carlos Quentin got hit on the arm by a 97 mph fastball from Neftali Feliz (1-2). Kotsay then hit his double, though he didn't score on Chicago's 13th single that followed.
``Obviously in that situation, you like to come through for your team,' Kotsay said. ``It felt great when it landed.'
J.J. Putz (5-2) worked a scoreless inning before Matt Thornton pitched the ninth for his fourth save.
Feliz, the rookie who leads the AL with 21 saves, had made seven consecutive scoreless appearances before taking over in the ninth, a few minutes after midnight local time.
Alex Rios had three hits and drove in two runs for the White Sox, who have won 17 of 21 games. Like the Rangers, Chicago had an 11-game winning streak in June to match the longest in the majors this season.
``This club has shown some good character during this streak,' Kotsay said.
Hamilton homered and Vladimir Guerrero had a two-run triple for Texas, which still has a 3 1/2-game division lead after the Angels lost to Kansas City on Friday night. Texas lost two of three in Los Angeles this week.
After Rangers starter Colby Lewis was knocked out of the game after giving up consecutive singles to start the seventh, Rios had an RBI single before Konerko's sacrifice fly tied the game 3-all.
``They took it from us. They won it,' Texas manager Ron Washington said. ``We had the game won going into the seventh inning, we just didn't keep them from scoring.'
Guerrero got his triple in the third, on a sinking liner that got past a diving Rios in center. The ball rolled to the fence and Guerrero kept running as Texas took a 2-1 lead.
Hamilton led off the sixth and made it 3-1 with a 413-foot homer that hit the back wall of the Rangers' bullpen in right-center - below the second deck of seats where his estimated 468-foot shot landed Sunday. That drive is listed as the second-longest ever at Rangers Ballpark, though the distance is still being studied.
Veteran catcher Bengie Molina, acquired from San Francisco, made his Rangers debut batting sixth. He had a single in his first at-bat in the second.
The start was delayed by rain for 2 hours, 25 minutes. The scheduled postgame fireworks show went on as scheduled.
After the Rangers got home about 5 a.m. Friday, Guerrero still had plenty left after going 6 for 11 with three home runs in his return to Anaheim, where the 2004 AL MVP played the past six seasons.
Hamilton and Guerrero almost certainly will be back in Anaheim as AL starters in the All-Star game July 13.
While Hamilton's major league-best 23-game hitting streak was snapped Thursday night, he has still hit safely in 22 straight home games.
White Sox starter Freddy Garcia had his second consecutive no-decision after winning five in a row. The right-hander allowed three runs and six hits over six innings.
After Lewis was lifted, Alexi Ogando gave up an RBI single and sacrifice fly, but those runs were changed to Lewis. The rookie reliever has made seven consecutive scoreless appearances (covering 10 innings) to start his major league career.
``I don't feel I threw the ball poorly,' said Lewis, who is 4-1 with a 3.45 ERA in seven home starts. ``I gave up some hits in some counts I didn't need to.'
Juan Pierre had a leadoff single in the third, then got his major league-leading 30th stolen base. He went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout by Rios.
NOTES: Garcia's last loss was May 23 against Florida. ... White Sox closer Bobby Jenks rejoined the team after five days on the family medical emergency list while dealing with a family illness. Guillen had said he'd hoped to ``stay away' from using Jenks, and he did. ... Chicago had two errors after committing only three its previous 15 games.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved