This week, Washington will try to keep those same players on track when they open a three-game road series against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.
With Texas coming off back-to-back World Series appearances and owning the majors' best record, there is heavy influence from the Lone Star State on the AL All-Star roster.
Josh Hamilton received over 11 million votes, more than any player ever, and he'll be joined by Adrian Beltre and Mike Napoli as starters. Pitchers Matt Harrison and Joe Nathan , along with Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus , were also named.
Yu Darvish could make it eight for the Rangers (50-30). He is one of five AL pitchers in a fan vote to determine the final member.
"I don't think the Texas Rangers have to apologize because we've got good players," Washington said. "I certainly didn't pick my guys being selfish, I picked them very deserving of being All-Stars, bottom line."
It's difficult to argue with Washington.
Texas has won 16 of 20 after completing a 7-3 homestand. The Rangers failed in a bid to sweep a four-game series from Oakland, losing 3-1 Sunday.
Darvish struck out 11 but took the loss as Texas had its five-game winning streak snapped. Hamilton, who hit .223 with four homers in June, opened July going 0 for 4.
Hamilton and the potent Rangers lineup will face another All-Star in Chris Sale (9-2, 2.27 ERA) on Tuesday.
Sale, who entered Monday leading the AL in ERA, gave up two runs in seven innings of a 12-5 win over Minnesota on Wednesday. It was the 10th time in 14 starts the left-hander allowed two or fewer earned runs.
"It's hard to keep saying the same things over and over again, but he's just a mature kid," manager Robin Ventura said.
Sale has not allowed a run in his last two home starts, spanning 16 innings. He is making his first start against the Rangers after four relief appearances in which he gave up one run and three hits in 3 1-3 innings.
The White Sox (42-37) return home following a 4-3 road trip. They dropped the final two games of a four-game series at Yankee Stadium over the weekend.
Gavin Floyd gave up a pair of two-run homers in Sunday's 4-2 loss while the bottom four batters in Chicago's lineup were 1 for 13 with eight strikeouts.
Before the All-Star break, the White Sox will try to improve on a 19-21 home record. Adam Dunn is 3 for his last 26 with 13 strikeouts at U.S. Cellular Field.
Dunn will face familiar opposition on the mound in Roy Oswalt (2-0, 4.26), who is making his third start with the Rangers in the series opener.
Dunn is hitting .247 with four homers and 28 strikeouts in 81 at-bats - his most against any pitcher - off Oswalt.
The right-hander gave up five runs and 13 hits in six innings of a 13-9 win over Detroit on Wednesday. In two starts, opponents are batting .393 against him.
Oswalt doesn't have a decision in two starts versus the White Sox, including one in Game 3 of the 2005 World Series.
Texas won two of three at home against Chicago to open the season.
|June 26, 2012||Mark Lowe||15-Day DL||Strained right intercostal muscle|
|June 24, 2012||Colby Lewis||15-Day DL||Right forearm tendinitis|
|June 24, 2012||Matt Harrison||Day-to-Day||Left game - left hip soreness|
|June 20, 2012||Mitch Moreland||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|June 16, 2012||Josh Hamilton||Day-to-Day||Intestinal virus|
|June 14, 2012||Koji Uehara||Day-to-Day||Strained right lat muscle|
|Chicago White Sox|
|June 29, 2012||Brian Bruney||15-Day DL||Left hip inflammation|
|June 29, 2012||Kevin Youkilis||Day-to-Day||Left game - upset stomach|
|June 17, 2012||Philip Humber||15-Day DL||Right elbow flexor strain|
|June 13, 2012||Adam Dunn||Day-to-Day||Sprained ankle|
|June 04, 2012||Kosuke Fukudome||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|June 04, 2012||Kosuke Fukudome||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
CHICAGO (AP) -- Kevin Youkilis wasted little time introducing himself to the crowd at U.S. Cellular Field.
Youkilis connected in his first at-bat in his new home, starting a three-homer barrage in the opening inning against Roy Oswalt and sending the White Sox to a 19-2 rout of the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.
Cries of "Youk, Youk, Youk" soon began to ring out across the stadium. And Youkilis finished with three hits and four RBIs, helping All-Star Chris Sale sail to his 10th victory behind Chicago's highest-scoring game of the season.
"It was awesome," said Youkilis, recently acquired from Boston. "People caught on real quick to the chants of `Youk' when you get up there. It was cool just to feel at home again."
Adam Dunn followed Youkilis' two-run shot with his 25th homer of the season and one out later Alex Rios hit his 11th to make it 4-0 lead.
In a matchup of division leaders, the White Sox finished with 21 hits, tying a season high.
"This team is built to win, and we've just got to do that. I think if we pitch well and play good defense, we don't need to score 19 runs a game to do that," Youkilis said.
A.J. Pierzynski, not chosen for the AL All-Star team managed by Texas skipper Ron Washington , hit a three-run homer off reliever Yoshinori Tateyama - his 15th of the season - to cap a nine-run fifth inning and make it 16-0. Seven of the runs in the inning were unearned, thanks to an error on Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler .
Pierzynski insisted he was not trying to make a statement.
"It's over and done with. There is nothing I can do, nothing I can say that is going to change anything. That's it," Pierzynski said. "It was just nice to win because the Rangers have been the best team all year in the American League."
Sale (10-2) is 7-0 in his past nine starts and hasn't lost since May 12.
The lanky lefty will likely not pitch again before the break and then be available for the All-Star game in a week. He allowed five hits and was charged with a run in 7 1-3 innings, but his job was made easier by the offense.
"It was like an explosion went off. It was fun to watch. I'd like to sit here and point out who did what, but through the lineup up and down, everyone swung the bat outstanding," Sale said. "To get that kind of run support, I've said it before, it kind of calms you down and you just go about your business and everything will take care of itself."
Elvis Andrus hit a two-run double in the eighth off reliever Brian Omogrosso after the White Sox had built a 19-0 lead.
Oswalt (2-1) was pounded for 13 hits and charged with 11 runs - nine earned - in 4 2-3 innings, throwing 112 pitches in his third start since joining the Rangers' organization in May.
"When I missed over the plate, they hit it. I threw some quality pitches they took. First inning, I fought my mechanics a little bit, the ball was leaking back a little bit," Oswalt said.
"They hit pitches that were out over the plate. I've got to make quality pitches, I knew they would probably come out swinging."
Alejandro De Aza tripled in the second and scored on Youkilis' single. Dunn doubled home Youkilis and then scored on Paul Konerko 's single for a 7-0 lead.
Youkilis came to the White Sox in a trade last month from Boston where he was a member of two World Series winners with the Red Sox.
"He brings a lot of stuff, not just being a good player but just his approach and the way he plays. It's contagious," Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. "He's a pro and that's one of the things in trading for a guy like him. You get a lot more than just numbers."
Alexei Ramirez and Rios had two-run singles in the fifth before Pierzynski connected.
The Rangers are still 50-31 halfway through the season, the best record through 81 games in team history. They've won 17 of their past 23 and still hold the best record in the majors, despite the lopsided defeat.
The Rangers' most-lopsided loss in team history was by 21 runs at Oakland in 2000 by the score of 23-2. Earlier this season they lost 21-8 to Seattle.
Oswalt said he'd put this outing behind him quickly.
"If you lose 1-0 or 10-0, you still lose," he said. "Don't really look at it that much."
NOTES: Rangers LHP Derek Holland (shoulder fatigue, stomach virus) joined the team in Chicago. He will throw a bullpen session Wednesday. The team has yet to decide if he will start on Saturday or if he will need a third rehab appearance.