CHICAGO -- Some hitters never recover from a serious beaning and Gary Ward of the Texas Rangers admits he almost was one of them.
Ward, who was hit in the face last year by Detroit's Dan Petry, continued his comeback Tuesday night, collecting four hits, scoring four times and knocking in two runs as the Rangers defeated the Chicago White Sox 9-3.
Ward, a lifetime .285 hitter, entered the game batting just .243. However, the 30-year-old outfielder has gone 10-for-17 in his last four contests and says his memories of the pitch thrown by Petry are beginning to fade.
'I battled that for a long time,' Ward said. 'It made me close my batting stance. I know a pitcher will throw inside. That's part of the game and I'm not worried anymore.'
Ward's 12th homer gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the first. In the third, Billy Sample singled and Ward tripled him home to make it 2-0. Ward then scored on Buddy Bell's sacrifice fly.
After adding a run in the fourth on Ned Yost's RBI groundout, Texas knocked out Tom Seaver in the fifth when Ward singled, stole second, moved to third on Bell's single and scored on Larry Parrish's single.
'I don't feel comfortable on the mound,' said Seaver, 11-8. 'It was a matter of mechanics. I'm doing something wrong on the mound somewhere and going to try and figure it out.'
The Rangers added four more runs in the seventh. Ward lashed a one-out single off Dan Spillner and Parrish walked one out later. Jerry Don Gleaton then allowed an RBI single by Pete O'Brien and George Wright's three-run homer.
'I thought we had a chance until the four-run inning,' White Sox manager Tony LaRussa said. 'That kind of broke our back. Tonight, our hitting had to pick up our pitching and it didn't quite make it.'
The White Sox scored on Tom Paciorek's RBI single in the fourth and added two runs in the fifth on Carlton Fisk's sacrifice fly and Greg Luzinski's run-scoring single to pull within 5-3.
Frank Tanana, 12-11, went the distance for Texas. He scattered 10 hits, struck out four and walked none.
Ward would have become the first Ranger ever to hit for the cycle if he had doubled in either of his final two trips to the plate. Instead, he singled and hit into a double play.
'I was thinking of it, that's for sure. But when you step up to the plate, you try not to think of it and just hit the ball,' said Ward, who accomplished the feat as a Minnesota Twin in 1982.