Todd Stottlemyre said Sunday's game was the best he has felt since putting on a Texas uniform. However, the numbers won't show it.
Jeff Abbott drove in two runs as the Chicago White Sox beat Stottlemyre and the Texas Rangers 5-3 Sunday.
Abbott hit a sacrifice fly in the third inning and an RBI double in the fifth for the White Sox, who have won five of their last seven games.
Texas' loss, coupled with Anaheim's 8-6 win over Boston, dropped the Rangers three games behind the first-place Angels in the AL West.
"It was one of those games when we couldn't do anything right," Texas manager Johnny Oates said.
Carlos Castillo (6-4) pitched 2 1-3 innings of one-hit relief for the victory. Bob Howry got three outs for his second save.
Stottlemyre (3-3) allowed five runs -- three earned -- and six hits over six innings. Acquired July 31 from St. Louis, Stottlemyre has given up 23 runs -- 20 earned -- in 24 2-3 innings over his last five starts. The right-hander's ERA has soared during that stretch from 3.18 to 7.30.
"It's not what we expected," Oates said of Stottlemyre. "I'm sure he's not happy with the way he's been throwing."
But Stottlemyre said he can take a lot of positives from the effort.
"It was the best I've thrown in a month," he said. "I felt I could pitch all day today. They just put some balls in play that were tough to get to."
Stottlemyre threw 46 pitches in the first inning as the White Sox took a 3-0 lead.
Leadoff batter Ray Durham walked, stole second, reached third on a throwing error by catcher Ivan Rodriguez, and scored when left fielder Rusty Greer dropped Mike Caruso's fly ball.
"I just mised it," Greer said. "I've made several of those throughout the year. It's a ball I didn't catch. Nobody feels worse than me. It's probably the difference in the ballgame."
After Frank Thomas singled and Albert Belle walked to load the bases, Caruso scored on Wil Cordero's single. One out later, Stottlemyre walked Mike Cameron to force in another run.
That walk to Cameron, a .203 hitter, on a 3-2 slider was one Stottlemyre wanted back.
"That's not one of the guys you want to walk," Oates said.
"That group of pitches I disliked the most," Stottlemyre said. "Pudge (catcher Ivan Rodriguez) called for a fastball and I shook him off for a slider. The pitch selection wasn't good. The pitch location wasn't good."
Abbott's sacrifice fly in the third made it 4-0.
The Rangers pulled within 4-3 in the fourth when Royce Clayton hit a three-run homer off starter Tom Fordham.
Abbott hit an RBI double in the fifth to make it 5-3.
"We usually have a big home run from Albert (Belle) or Frank (Thomas) but we manufactured some runs today and against a pitcher like Stottlemyre, that's what you have to do," Abbott said. "I'm surprised how well we've played the last seven games. We've played against two good teams (Baltimore and Texas) and handled things well."
Fordham gave up three runs on five hits and four walks over 4 2-3 innings and was optioned to Triple-A Calgary after the game. The White Sox did not make a counter move.
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