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HOU@TEX: Pierzynski collects four hits, four RBIs

With a 36-26 record away from home in 2013, the Rangers boast the best road mark in the American League. They'll look for their ninth straight win away from Arlington when they open a series against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on Friday night -- kicking off a stretch in which they'll play 12 of their next 15 games away from home.

"We've just played well on the road," manager Ron Washington said. "We expect to play well at home, but it's nice to play well on the road. I hope we can continue to play well."

The Rangers have had winning records on the road in two straight seasons, but they haven't finished more than nine games over .500 on the road since they were 50-31 in 1977.

Adrian Beltre is hitting .320 on the road this season, which is the sixth best mark in the AL. A.J. Pierzynski is 10th with a .303 average.

The White Sox sit dead last in the AL Central, but U.S. Cellular Field has not been kind to the Rangers in recent seasons. They lost all three games they played there last season and are 17-28 at the stadium since 2001.

The White Sox, who enter riding a six-game winning streak, are the Rangers' latest foe in a stretch of teams that have struggled this season. Texas has had just one series in August against a team with a winning record, and it won't have another until a matchup with the Athletics at the beginning of September.

"These are still big league teams," said Pierzynski, who played said eight seasons on the South Side before and will be returning for the first time as a visitor. "You still have to go out and play."

Southpaws Martin Perez and Chris Sale will be the starting pitchers for the Rangers and White Sox, respectively, in Friday's opener.

Perez boasts a 6-3 record this season with a 3.48 ERA, while Sale carries a 9-11 record with a 2.78 ERA. Perez has never faced the White Sox. Sale, on the other hand, beat Texas on May 1, allowing just two runs on six hits and two walks. He also struck out seven in seven innings.

Rangers: Former South Siders ready to return
Pierzynski will return to Chicago on Friday for the first time since joining the Rangers. The catcher played with the White Sox from 2005-12 and has caught more games at U.S. Cellular Field than any other catcher since the stadium opened in 1991.

"It will be weird going into the visitors' clubhouse, but I'm looking forward to going to the city," Pierzynski said. "I love the city, I love the organization and I love the fans. Hopefully, we'll go in there and play well."

Alex Rios will also be facing the White Sox for the first time since he was traded to the Rangers on Aug. 9.

White Sox: Garcia joins big league club
The White Sox called up Leury Garcia, the infielder they received from the Rangers in the Rios trade, but he didn't play in Thursday night's game in Kansas City.

"We're a little short right now infield-wise, with guys having some nagging injuries," manager Robin Ventura said. "That's the reason for the move and to get him up here and see what he can do."

Outfielder Blake Tekotte was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte to clear room for Garcia.

Worth noting
• Having started a stretch with 23 of 26 games against teams above .500 on Aug 20, the White Sox will play each AL division leader in Boston, Detroit and Texas. Chicago is a combined 9-10 against those clubs this season.

• The Rangers lead the league with 39 come-from-behind wins this season. The club record in 45, accomplished in 2007, 1986 and 1999. Comments