The Texas Rangers wouldn’t have minded sitting through a lengthy rain delay. Not if they’d won.
Carlos Quentin spoiled things for the Rangers with his first three-homer game as Texas fell to the Chicago White Sox 8-6 on Tuesday night in a game that was halted for 2 hours and 58 minutes by heavy rain and hail that sent fans scurrying for cover throughout the ballpark.
"It's tough because we lost, but if we would have won the game we would have been happy that we played," Rangers outfielder David Murphy said. "It’s just because of the result. It’s tough but we’re not going to make that an excuse…. It's not like we were flat. It’s just every time we did something they counterpunched. That was a difficult thing."
Quentin became the fifth major league player in 13 days to homer three times in a game, joining Carlos Beltran, Jose Bautista, Jason Giambi and Corey Hart, who did it Monday night.
Quentin hit two off starter Derek Holland, and the third in the ninth off Dave Bush.
Umpires suspended play at 8:23 p.m. before the storm actually hit to allow the infield to be covered by the tarp. Rain began falling about 10 minutes later, and hail followed accompanied by winds gusting to more than 60 mph.
Fans were at first evacuated from the upper deck to the lower seating bowl. Later, they were moved from the stadium concourse as a precaution against the hail and potential tornadoes, retreating to the tunnels beneath the ballpark.
No tornadoes were reported near Rangers Ballpark, and stadium operations director Rob Matwick said fans were "as safe as they can be" under the conditions.
The game resumed in the bottom of the fourth with the White Sox ahead 4-2.
Texas tied it at 4 with a two-run fifth on Elvis Andrus’ RBI double and Michael Young’s sacrifice fly.
But Adam Dunn, in a 3-for-33 slide, hit a leadoff homer in the sixth off Brett Tomko (0-1) to put Chicago back in front. Brent Morel’s RBI single later in the inning made it 6-4.
Mitch Moreland’s run-scoring single in the sixth off Chris Sale got the Rangers within 6-5, but Dunn’s RBI double in the seventh restored Chicago’s two-run pad.
Moreland scored from third on Andrus' double-play grounder in the eighth to close the gap to 7-6, but Quentin’s third homer of the night with nobody on in the ninth made it 8-6.
"It was long, obviously," Young said. "It would have been fine if we'd gotten a 'W.' But their bullpen did a good job and Quentin had a big night."
The teams had a short turnaround before Wednesday’s series finale scheduled for a 1 p.m. start.
"Go back to the house, get some sleep and come back ready to play," Young said.
Tony Pena (1-1) allowed two runs and three hits in one inning but earned the win.
When play got back under way, both starters were done for the night.
Chicago’s Jake Peavy, who allowed two runs and five hits in three innings, was replaced by Will Ohman.
Tomko came in for Holland, who gave up four runs and four hits in four innings.
Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton, in his second game since missing 36 with a broken bone in his right shoulder sustained on a headfirst slide, slid headfirst into first on an infield single in the eighth. Hamilton then dove headfirst into second on a stolen base, and into third on a wild pitch before he was stranded there.
"Josh is fine," said a supportive Rangers manager Ron Washington. "He's just playing baseball. It's his insticts. I don’t expect him to change."