If the White Sox ever wondered what it would be like to compete against themselves, they will find out in the next couple of days.
In many respects, the Texas Rangers and Sox are similartwo teams that live and die with their offense.
On Tuesday night, the free-swinging Rangers, who lead the league in batting average, are second in runs and are the surprise of the American League with a 26-18 record, spoiled a chance for the Sox to move into sole possession of first place in the Central Division with a 7-4 victory before a crowd of 22,359 at U.S. Cellular Field.
The Sox suffered another loss when right fielder Magglio Ordonez left the game after the seventh inning with a strained left calf. Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said he didn't think the injury was serious.
The Rangers took the lead in the second with a home run from Mark Teixeira off Sox starter Scott Schoeneweis. It was the first of two home runs Schoeneweis allowed. The second was hit by former Sox Herbert Perry.
Schoeneweis (4-2), who suffered his first loss since his first start on April 8, had allowed just three home runs in his previous eight starts.
Kenny Rogers, 39, improved to 12-7 lifetime against the Sox. He scattered seven hits and the only time he was in any trouble was in the fifth, when he had runners on first and second before retiring Ordonez to end the inning.
Rogers improved to 7-2, tops on the Rangers' staff.
"He still throws good changeups, makes his pitches well and throws strikes," Guillen said. "Tip your hat to him, I guess. He threw the ball real well today."
After a perfect first inning, Schoeneweis was in trouble nearly all night. He struck out the side in the second but gave up the homer to Teixeira, a double to Chad Allen and a walk to Gary Matthews Jr.
"Early in the game he got in trouble and threw a lot of pitches," Guillen said. "When you're always behind the hitter, you're going to get hit."
In the fifth, the Rangers took the lead with two runs. Eric Young had a leadoff double and after a walk to Michael Young, stole third. Alfonso Soriano popped out, but Teixeira's high bouncer to third allowed Eric Young to score and Michael Young to go to second. He then scored on Perry's single.
Guillen let Schoeneweis start the seventh even though he had thrown 111 pitches through six innings. Schoeneweis gave up a leadoff single to Michael Young and Guillen brought in Mike Jackson. Jackson gave up singles to the first two men he facedSoriano and Teixeira, who drove in Young for his third RBI of the game.
After Perry flied out, Guillen brought in Kelly Wunsch and the Sox got a break when Soriano was caught in a rundown trying to steal third. But Wunsch walked Hank Blalock to move Teixeira to second and he scored on Allen's single to make it 6-2 Rangers.
The Sox cut the lead to 6-3 on Sandy Alomar Jr. and Aaron Rowand doubles in the seventh off Carlos Almanzar.
They had a great chance to get back in the game in the eighth inning when Carlos Lee singled to extend his hitting streak to 12 games and Konerko was hit with a pitch to put runners on first and second with one out.
Texas added a run in the ninth off Cliff Politte. The Sox threatened with a run in the bottom half, but fell to 3-4 in their last seven home games.