Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/24/13
A.J. Pierzynski’s return to U.S. Cellular Field provided some feel-good moments Friday night but the Texas Rangers had a long-awaited reunion of their own. Their hitters reconnected with their long-lost first love the home run and they caught up on lost time during the opener of a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox. Part-timers Jeff Baker and Adam Rosales swatted two-run shots Mitch Moreland added another in the eighth and Ian Kinsler and Adrian Beltre added solo homers as the Rangers powered their way to an 11-5 victory. The five homers including the first inside-the-park homer of Kinsler’s career were a season-high for the Rangers who had one long ball in each of the previous three games but only four in the past 10. The win coupled with an Oakland loss boosted the Rangers’ lead in the American League West to 3½ games. “We’ve got guys that can hit the ball out of the ballpark but we just haven’t been hitting it out of the ballpark” manager Ron Washington said. “That tells me we’re capable of winning ballgames many many ways not just with the long ball. “I know that’s something that’s been real prevalent in Texas but Texas is complete now. We can play baseball any way we have to play it.” The homers backed Martin Perez who overcame a shaky second inning to allow four runs in seven innings and won for the seventh time since he was recalled June 22. Four of the circuit clouts came off Chris Sale the White Sox ace left-hander who had allowed only 14 homers in 1651/3 innings entering the start. He worked an easy first inning and had two outs and the bases empty in the second before Alex Rios dumped a single into right field. Baker followed with a 408-foot blast to center for the game’s first two runs. Craig Gentry the next batter kept the inning alive when he took a 1-2 pitch off his leg a mistake that quickly cost Sale. Rosales followed with a shot into the left-field seats his first hit and RBIs since joining the Rangers. “I’m a fastball hitter but off Sale especially” said Rosales who is 5 for 9 in his career against the two-time All-Star. “It’s always important to produce. Hitting in the 9 spot it turns the lineup over and it gives us such momentum.”
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