CHICAGO (AP) -- White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen had an idea he
was in trouble when Michael Young stepped to the plate with the
bases loaded in the ninth inning and the score tied.
Young hit a tiebreaking, two-run single, and the Texas Rangers
beat slumping Chicago 3-1 on Saturday night.
Michael Young's two-run, two-out single produced the winning margin in the Rangers' 3-1 win over the White Sox. Young is now batting .429 this season (15-for-35) with two outs and runners in scoring position. That's the second-highest average in the majors this season in such situations (minimum: 25 at-bats) to Freddy Sanchez's .459. And get a load of this -- Young is batting .727 (8-for-11) in the situations mentioned above when it's the potential tying or go-ahead run that is in scoring position. That's the highest batting average in the majors in those oh-so-clutch situations (minimum: 10 at-bats), ahead of Melvin Mora (.667, 10-for-15), Manny Ramirez (.636, 7-for-11) and David Ortiz (.600, 6-for-10).And, of course, those statistics don't include Young's game-winning hit in the All-Star Game, which was produced in precisely that same situation.
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Guillen saw firsthand at the All-Star game how clutch Young can
be."That's the last guy you want to see on that ballclub,"
Guillen said. "He is one of the most underrated players in
baseball."Guillen managed Young on the AL All-Star team, and saw the
shortstop deliver a two-run triple with two outs in the ninth
inning that beat the National League 3-2.White Sox closer Bobby Jenks (2-2) allowed Kevin Mench's leadoff
single in the ninth. Two outs later, a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/profile?statsId=6241">Gary Matthews Jr. was
intentionally walked, then Jenks walked Ian Kinsler to load the
bases. Young followed with a single to the opposite field, scoring
pinch-runner Jerry Hairston Jr. and Matthews.Young is getting used to clutch situations."I don't really think about anything. I don't think about who
has pressure. I like to be in that situation to give my team a
chance to win the game," Young said.Buck Showalter is impressed with the approach that Young takes."He's not trying to get too big," Showalter said. "Not trying
to hit a grand slam. He's trying to give us what we need."Paul Konerko homered for the White Sox, who have lost four
straight and nine of 11. They lead the New York Yankees by 1½ games
in the AL wild-card race.The White Sox are just 1-7 since the All-Star break."We need to worry about ourselves and try to get a win here any
way we can. We're just not getting it done," Jim Thome said.
"Last week is over. We're thinking about [Sunday]. You are going to
go through those bad times. You just got to stay positive."Francisco Cordero (7-4) struck out Konerko and Jermaine Dye in
the eighth. He ended the inning by getting Joe Crede to pop out.
Akinori Otsuka pitched a scoreless ninth for his 21st save in 23
chances.After Mark DeRosa drew a leadoff walk in the fifth inning, Mench
hit a double down the left field line off White Sox starter Freddy Garcia to give Texas a 1-0 lead.Konerko tied it in the sixth with a leadoff homer off Rangers
starter John Koronka on a 2-2 pitch. It was his 24th of the season
and ended an 0-for-11 slump.Koronka escaped damage in the first inning. After issuing three
walks, he got A.J Pierzynski to ground out with the bases loaded.
Koronka threw 35 pitches in the first inning.Koronka pitched six innings and gave up one run and three hits.
He walked four with one strikeout."It didn't look like he was going to be very long with the
pitches he threw in the first inning," Showalter said. "He
settled down and gave us a solid effort and that shouldn't be
forgotten."The White Sox also failed to score after a leadoff double by
Juan Uribe in the seventh inning. Rangers reliever Bryan Corey got
Brian Anderson to ground out before Ron Mahay came in with Uribe on
third and struck out pinch-hitter Scott Podsednik. Mahay then got
Tadahito Iguchi to fly out.Garcia pitched seven innings, allowing one run and four hits. He
struck out five and hit a batter.
Dye made a diving catch after a long run on Kinsler's ball
in the first inning and another diving catch on Mark Teixeira's
ball in the same inning. ... Crede made a backhanded stab on
Young's hard grounder in the fourth inning and threw him out. ...
The White Sox had their 27th sellout of the season, extending the