Dunn homers; Morel fans 4 times, commits key error
ARLINGTON, Texas – Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura was booed loudly in pre-game introductions Friday prior to the regular season opener at Texas.
That was expected, just as it was for Ventura to feel some nerves prior to Friday’s first pitch.
“Guys are excited,” Ventura said. “They do all the work and now they actually get to play and it all counts. This is the fun part.”
The Sox rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the sixth – sparked by Adam Dunn’s 431-foot home run that landed in the upper deck in right field – but Texas regained the lead on a single by Michael Young and held on for a 3-2 victory.
Ventura said the anticipation is different because he’s managing and not playing.
“You’re excited, but it’s not like you play,” said Ventura, who played for 16 seasons. “When you play, there’s different things you go through. This is more of a mental thinking of different things that will come up. How you’re trying to look ahead and how you react.”
Sox third baseman Brent Morel struck out four times and bobbled a grounder that prevented a double play preceding Young’s RBI single. Morel also committed an error to start the eighth inning.
After striking out eight times in the first five innings against Colby Lewis, the Sox embarked on a two-run rally led by Dunn’s first home run since Aug. 4 against the New York Yankees.
Dunn tied Frank Robinson and Ken Griffey Jr. for the major league record with his eighth home run on opening day.
The Sox tied the game after Alex Rios was hit by a pitch. On a hit-and-run play, Alexei Ramirez hit a single to left center, and third base coach Joe McEwing immediately waved Rios home.
The Rangers, however, set a opening day franchise record by striking out 13 Sox batters. The Sox were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
The Sox’s last rally occurred in the eighth, when Paul Konerko hit a single with one out, and pinch runner Brent Lillibridge moved to second with one out. Rios, however, grounded to short to end the inning.
Sox left-hander John Danks was victimized by Ian Kinsler, who led off the bottom of the first with a double and scored on Josh Hamilton’s sacrifice fly, and Kinsler hit a home run with two out in the third.
Star of the game: Ian Kinsler, Rangers, 2 hits, HR, 1 RBI, 2 runs
Up next: Whtie Sox (Jake Peavy 7-7) at Rangers (Derek Holland 16-5), 7:05 p.m. Saturday
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