CHICAGO -- When they started their 10-game road trip -- which took them from the West Coast to Chicago -- on a six-game winning streak, this wasn't the ending the Rangers had in mind.
Texas was routed by the White Sox, 10-0, at U.S. Cellular Field on Sunday, losing for the third time in their last four games to close out the road swing at 7-3. Though the Rangers tallied 38 runs in the first five games of the trip and managed just 14 over the last five, manager Ron Washington refused to blame fatigue.
"Hit a wall? No, it's Aug. 21. You don't hit walls right now," Washington said. "We just got beat. We didn't hit a wall. What wall did we hit out there? Everybody at this point is physically exhausted to some point. We didn't get it done today, but we didn't run into a wall."
Wall or not, the Rangers were outplayed in just about every aspect of Sunday's game, suffering their worst defeat since an 11-run loss against the Angels on April 19. Starter Derek Holland was replaced by long-reliever Scott Feldman after allowing five runs in just 3 1/3 innings, while his counterpart Gavin Floyd tossed seven-plus shutout frames for the victory.
Holland was able to escape a two-on, two-out jam in the first inning, but Chicago broke through against the left-hander in the third, starting with a Brent Lillibridge two-run homer to put the White Sox on the board. Then following a pair of two-out walks, Holland gave up a two-run double to Alejandro De Aza, extending the lead to four, which was larger than any deficit the Rangers had previously faced on the road trip.
"To me, that was pretty pathetic," said Holland, who lost for the first time in his last nine starts. "I came out and had good stuff in the first two innings, and in the third inning, things kind of just fell apart. I lost the feel for my fastball, and with me, I have to pitch with my fastball. And I just lost it in that third inning."
"It was huge today just to get those two runs early against a really good [pitcher]," Lillibridge said. "Holland has been throwing awesome the last five or six starts. I think we got to him a little bit. And that was all Gavin needed."
Floyd allowed just one runner to reach third base in his seven-plus innings, escaping his only real jam of the game in the second. Mike Napoli singled to extend his road hitting streak to 22 games and later advanced to third with one out on an error by Lillibridge when Napoli appeared to be picked off of first. Following the single though, Nelson Cruz, Mitch Moreland and Yorvit Torrealba struck out in order, stranding Napoli at third.
The only other Rangers scoring threat came with the team trailing, 7-0, in the eighth inning after Torrealba chased Floyd out of the game with a leadoff single. Texas loaded the bases against reliever Chris Sale, but the southpaw retired Michael Young on a groundout to preserve the shutout.
"They beat us pretty good today in every way," Washington said. "Gavin Floyd was good. He had a good breaking ball, moved his fastball around, stayed off the fat part of our bats. We just didn't get anything done."
The White Sox tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the eighth against Feldman, who absorbed the entire 4 2/3-inning blow to the Rangers' bullpen. The right-hander conceded a two-run homer to Alex Rios and another run-scoring hit to De Aza in the inning, before finally ending the 16-hit offensive attack by the White Sox.
"We needed it and he certainly did," Washington said of Feldman saving the rest of the bullpen. "He got all those guys a day, so they're fresh. He was running out of gas there. I'm glad he finally got that last out. But we needed him to do exactly what he did."
Even with the 10-0 loss to close out their three-city road swing, the Rangers still outscored their opponents 52-37 and managed to extend their lead in the American League West. The trip, which started with the Rangers two games ahead of the second-place Angels, ended with Texas holding a four-game advantage.
And with Feldman tossing so many innings in relief, the Rangers will at least return home to face the Red Sox on Monday with a well-rested bullpen. Monday's contest starts a 10-game homestand for the Rangers, during which they face the Red Sox, Angels and Rays.
"We're a good baseball team," Washington said. "One loss is no different than the others. It's not going to knock us down just because they beat us 10-0. You've got to show back up. And good teams do. We're a good team, we'll show up on [Monday]."
Paul Casella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.