Chicago White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham, left, waits for the pick off throw as Texas Rangers Ian Kinsler (5) slides in stealing second base during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Friday, July 27, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. Kinsler was safe on the play. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Alejandro De Aza hit a two-run single before leaving the game after an outfield collision, and the Chicago White Sox beat the Texas Rangers 9-5 Friday night in a series opener between American League division leaders.
Chris Sale rebounded from a shaky start to earn his 12th win and the White Sox got homers from Kevin Youkilis and Alexei Ramirez in their fourth straight victory.
Chicago rallied from a 4-1 deficit against Yu Darvish in a matchup off All-Star pitchers who were lacking their best stuff. The White Sox held on after Sale (12-3) left in the seventh inning.
Sale was touched up for four runs in the first, including a three-run homer by Nelson Cruz, before settling down. The left-hander allowed six hits and five runs while striking out six.
Darvish (11-7) gave up six runs in 6 1-3 innings, losing his second consecutive home start. He yielded eight hits, walked three and struck out six.
De Aza had a two-run single in the fourth that gave Chicago the lead for good before he was involved in a scary collision.
In the seventh, De Aza and Ramirez ran into each other chasing a pop fly in shallow center. The trainer examined De Aza's left wrist for several minutes before he was replaced by Jordan Danks.
De Aza walked off the field under his own power and Ramirez stayed in the game. Ramirez gave the White Sox a 9-5 lead with a two-run homer in the ninth.
Josh Hamilton's struggles at the plate continued. The Rangers slugger went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts, dropping his average in July to .145. After his strikeouts, he heard rare boos from the home crowd.
Texas scored a run without a hit after Sale left in the seventh. Hamilton had an RBI groundout with the bases loaded to cut Chicago's lead to 6-5.
Matt Thornton walked Adrian Beltre to load the bases again, but he got out of trouble when Michael Young grounded out to end the inning.
Brett Myers and Addison Reed each pitched a scoreless inning to close out the game. The White Sox snapped a five-game road losing streak and increased their lead in the AL Central to 1½ games over Detroit.
Tyler Flowers led off the fourth with a single and Gordon Beckham followed with a double.
De Aza hit a sharp single to right to push Chicago ahead 5-4. The White Sox won their fourth straight over the Rangers.
The teams combined for seven runs in the first two innings.
Alex Rios, who had three RBIs, gave the White Sox a 1-0 lead with a sacrifice fly. He added an RBI grounder in the seventh and a run-scoring double in the ninth.
After Hamilton's sacrifice fly tied the game at 1, Cruz capped Texas' outburst in the first with his 14th home run.
Youkilis hit a two-run shot that traveled an estimated 425 feet to center, cutting Texas' lead to 4-3 in the second.