CHICAGO - Three innings after getting booed, Carlos Quentin made White Sox fans love him again.
Quentin hit a two-run homer in the seventh Thursday night, atoning for an error that led to a Texas run, and Chicago rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Rangers.
Quentin was in a 4-for-31 slump that had dropped his average to .205 before he sent Colby Lewis’ pitch over the right-field fence. As Quentin rounded first base, he pumped his fist and screamed. When he got into the dugout, he celebrated intensely with his teammates.
“He was pumped up, and he was ripping some guys’ arms off (with high-fives),” captain Paul Konerko said. “He’s an emotional guy. He felt terrible after dropping that ball. It was definitely a redeemer.”
Lewis (4-4) was in command for six innings but needed only three pitches in the seventh to blow a 3-2 lead. After A.J. Pierzynski doubled on the first pitch, Quentin sent Lewis’ 1-0 delivery just over the right-field fence as 20,003 fans cheered.
There was a different sound at U.S. Cellular Field three innings earlier, when Quentin dropped David Murphy’s routine fly for a two-base error. Justin Smoak followed with a single off Freddy Garcia to make it 1-1.
“This is a funny game,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “Carlos made (a great) play last night. He dropped one today and gets booed. Welcome to Chicago.”
Several teammates encouraged Quentin in the dugout after his error.
“That meant a lot to me that they cared enough to go out of their way to help me out,” he said. “Freddy deserved that win. You can’t say enough about what Freddy’s been able to do.”
Garcia (5-3), a 2005 postseason hero for the White Sox, was supposed to be the weak link in Chicago’s rotation. But he leads the team with five wins and has had only two bad starts.
The 33-year-old right-hander allowed three runs (two earned), seven hits and one walk in seven innings before Matt Thornton and Bobby Jenks each worked an inning of scoreless relief. Garcia is healthy again after missing most of three seasons with arm problems.
“That’s Freddy,” Konerko said. “He kind of just hangs around and then you look up and he’s made a lot of good starts for you. He’s got guts and he just knows how to pitch.”
Texas, which scored 18 runs in winning the first two games of the series, had trouble making solid contact this time. Middle-of-the-order hitters Ian Kinsler, Josh Hamilton and Murphy combined to go 0-for-12.
“You always look back where you might have had some opportunities to get runs,” manager Ron Washington said. “We let some of those get away from us early.”
The Rangers have scored only 10 runs for Lewis in his last seven starts, but the pitcher didn’t blame his teammates for this loss. He didn’t blame himself, either.
“Pierzynski hit a good fastball down ... and I threw a good slider to Quentin,” said Lewis, who allowed seven hits and had seven strikeouts in 6 innings.
Michael Young’s fifth-inning RBI double and Craig Gentry’s sacrifice fly in the sixth gave the Rangers a 3-1 lead.
Young went 7 for 13 with five RBI in the series and is batting .419 over his last 18 games. Gentry was playing in place of injured star Vladimir Guerrero.
Alex Rios and Andruw Jones also homered for Chicago. Jones has 398 home runs, tying him with Dale Murphy for 48th on the career list. It was his 10th this year but first in 58 at-bats since May 5.