The pitch drifted over the middle of the plate, and as soon as Shin-Soo Choo connected, there was little doubt.
He broke open the game with his first grand slam in eight years, propelling the Texas Rangers to a 12-5 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night.
Choo made it 9-3 with his drive against reliever Chris Volstad in a five-run third inning. The grand slam was the fourth of his career and his first since Sept. 17, 2010, at Kansas City when he was playing for Cleveland.
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Choo didn't remember much about that drive against Bryan Bullington, though it was an unforgettable game for him. He hit three homers and drove in seven runs. Choo had a more vivid memory of his first slam.
"I know my first grand slam (was in) 2006 against Josh Beckett," he said of the homer that came in a victory at Boston on Aug. 3, 2006. "It's been a long time. Yeah, it feels great."
Jurickson Profar and Joey Gallo each drove in three runs for Texas. Jesse Chavez (2-0) and two other relievers combined for 5 1/3 scoreless innings following a shaky start by Matt Moore. The Rangers picked up the win after blowing a late lead the previous night to start this four-game series between last-place teams.
With their 10th loss in 12 games, the White Sox are 11-30. It's the worst 41-game start in franchise history, as well as the worst record in the majors this season. They are also 4-16 at home, a low point for them through 20 games.
Jose Abreu had a pair of RBI doubles and scored two runs. But Carson Fulmer (2-4) got optioned to Triple-A Charlotte following another early exit in his third straight loss.
Nicky Delmonico left with a broken bone in his right middle finger, and it all added up to another painful night for the White Sox.
Fulmer struggled with his control on a rainy night after getting knocked out by Minnesota and the crosstown Cubs. The 24-year-old right-hander gave up eight runs and three hits in two-plus innings. He walked five, hit two batters and threw a wild pitch.
The No. 8 overall pick in the 2015 draft, Fulmer has allowed 18 runs (17 earned) over 7 1/3 innings in his last three starts. He has as many walks (11) as strikeouts in that span, and he thinks a mechanical issue might be hindering him.
"It definitely hasn't (panned) out the way I wanted it to," he said. "It's tough to handle. I think I have to take responsibility for my actions and my performance and continue to work like I always have, continue to battle and move on to next one and accomplish as much as I can."
Moore gave up five runs — four earned — and five hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Rangers: LHP Cole Hamels' status remained up in the air a day after he was scratched from his scheduled start because of neck stiffness. Manager Jeff Banister said he might be ready to pitch in the three-game series against the Yankees that starts Monday. Hamels hasn't pitched since May 11 so he could be available against New York even if the Rangers place him on the 10-day disabled list. ... Banister said the reports on RHP Tim Lincecum (blister on right middle finger) were "much improved" following his latest rehab outing for Triple-A Round Rock on Thursday. The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner has been working in relief and has a 7.11 ERA in five rehab appearances.
White Sox: Delmonico is expected to miss four to six weeks after he was hit by a pitch from Moore in the second inning. The White Sox will make two roster moves with him going on the disabled list and Fulmer getting sent to the minors. ... The White Sox got another visit from Danny Farquhar, and they continue to be encouraged by the reliever's recovery from a brain hemorrhage last month.
Rangers: Texas will call up RHP Ariel Jurado from Double-A Frisco to make his major league debut.
White Sox: RHP Lucas Giolito (2-4, 6.91 ERA) looks for a better result at home after going 0-2 with a staggering 13.89 ERA in his first three starts at Guaranteed Rate Field.