Hamilton, Blalock propel Rangers into 2nd place

CHICAGO, IL—Josh Hamilton hit a three-run home run and Hank Blalock added a two-run shot to power the Texas Rangers to a 6-1 win over the Chicago White Sox on Monday night.

Hamilton hit his 22nd homer, a 422-foot blast to straightaway center, in the third off Javier Vazquez, as the White Sox (55-43) lost their third straight, all at home.

Blalock added his fourth homer in the eighth and Texas (52-48) tied its season-best mark, at four games over .500. The Rangers took two of three from the White Sox before the All-Star break.

Chicago outfielder Carlos Quentin led off the bottom of the fourth with his 24th home run, but the White Sox missed several opportunities to score, hitting into three double plays against Scott Feldman. They also committed two errors.

Vazquez (7-8) struck out 10, tying a season-high, and gave up three runs and walked two in seven innings. He lost his third straight decision.

Feldman (4-3), recalled from Double-A before the game, won his third straight decision. He replaced Eric Hurley, who was scratched with stiffness behind his left shoulder. He gave up one run on four hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out one.

Feldman pitched himself out of several jams. In the second, he gave up a one-out double to Paul Konerko and walked Nick Swisher, but Joe Crede grounded into the White Sox’s first double play. Feldman then got double plays in the fifth and sixth to quelch potential rallies.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled with one out in the third and Vazquez walked Michael Young. Hamilton then took a 2-0 pitch to deep center to make it 3-0.

David Murphy doubled with two outs in the eighth on a bloop to center and Blalock took Boone Logan’s first pitch to right for his first home run since April 18 at Boston. Ian Kinsler added a sacrifice fly in the ninth.

By virtue of a 4-0 loss to Tampa Bay by Oakland, the Rangers are now in 2nd place in the A.L. West by a half a game.