CHICAGO -- Rangers manager Ron Washington blamed one person for this one. Himself. Washington was the one second-guessing the manager for the way he used his bullpen in the Rangers' 6-4 loss to the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on Thursday.
Scott Feldman, pitching in a 3-3 game, was the losing pitcher after he gave up three runs in the eighth inning. But Washington made it clear that he could have done a better job managing his bullpen in that eighth inning. "I take the loss for the bullpen tonight," Washington said immediately afterward. "I second-guess myself. We fought hard tonight -- too bad it came down to me making a bad decision." Sammy Sosa hit his 592nd career home run in the second inning, but the Rangers still lost for the fifth time in their last seven games. They finished 2-4 on the current road trip, and they head into a five-game homestand that begins Friday night at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. "We battled, but they came out on top," second baseman Ian Kinsler said. "We're going to be in those games all year, and we expect to win those games. It hurts a little bit because the road trip could have ended up being even. It hurts a little, but hopefully we can go home and bounce back." Rangers starter Vicente Padilla, who gave up a three-run home run to A.J. Pierzynski in the fourth, is still looking for his first victory. He went 6 1/3 innings and only allowed four hits, but he tied a career high with six walks. "He was pretty good tonight," Washington said. "He got a ball up to Pierzynski, but other than that, he was pretty good." Rangers pitchers walked 10 on the night, including Jim Thome five times. Thome and Paul Konerko both walked to start the fourth, and that set up Pierzynski's three-run home run. That gave the White Sox a 3-1 lead, but Michael Young, snapping an 0-for-18 skid, drove in a run with a double in the sixth. Texas then tied it in the seventh as Sosa doubled, went to third on Hank Blalock's blooper that fell into left field and scored on Kinsler's sacrifice fly. Feldman then kept it that way in the bottom of the seventh when he came in and struck out Konerko with the bases loaded for the third out. Washington liked what he saw with Feldman and left him in there in the eighth with Jermaine Dye (right-handed hitter), Pierzynski (left) and Joe Crede (right) coming up for the White Sox. If the Rangers lead in the late innings, Washington goes with a parade of Joaquin Benoit, Akinori Otsuka and Eric Gagne. But the game was tied, and Washington stayed with Feldman. "I thought he was throwing a pretty good sinker and could get us through it," Washington said. Instead, Feldman fell behind with two quick balls to Dye. Then he came in with a fastball, and Dye lined it into the right-center-field gap for a leadoff double. Pierzynski lined out to center, but Crede smacked a 1-2 pitch up the middle for a hit that scored Dye with the go-ahead run. "I had a good at-bat with Konerko, then went out there and fell behind on Dye," Feldman said. "Looking back on the outing, not putting Crede away in that situation hurt. I need to do a better job of getting him out." That brought up Rob Mackowiak, a left-handed hitter, and Washington had left-handed reliever C.J. Wilson ready in the bullpen. But he stayed with Feldman, and Mackowiak hit a 1-2 pitch into the seats in right to break the game open. Leaving Feldman in to face Mackowiak was what bothered Washington the most when it was all over. "A bad decision," Washington said. The Rangers only made him feel worse when they scratched out a run against White Sox closer Bobby Jenks in the ninth. "We're swinging the bats better, but we're still not catching any breaks," Washington said. "We're still out there battling, but it doesn't help when the manager doesn't help them out."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.