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Johnson delivers winning shot in ninth

8/5/2002

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- More baserunning mistakes didn't
stop the Chicago White Sox.

Mark Johnson hit a tiebreaking triple in the ninth inning Monday
to lead the White Sox over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 4-3.

After Joe Crede had a one-out single off Esteban Yan (5-6),
Johnson tripled into the right-field corner.

Keith Foulke (2-4) pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and Damaso
Marte pitched the ninth for his fourth save in six chances.

Two days after Frank Thomas was thrown out at the plate trying
to score standing up, Chicago's Aaron Rowand was nearly tagged out
at third base without sliding on his first career triple in the
sixth. He was thrown out by third baseman Jared Sandberg sliding at
the plate on Magglio Ordonez's one-out grounder.

"I should have told him to slide,'' White Sox third base coach
Wallace Johnson said of Rowand. "He slowed up the last couple of
steps, but if I got him sliding, he's easily in there.''

Rowand jarred his neck after a headfirst slide on a pickoff
attempt and left the game one inning later.

The White Sox had another runner thrown out during a two-run,
eighth that tied it at 3.

With two runners on and no outs, Willie Harris was out at the
plate after a pitch by Jesus Colome went to the backstop.

"It's been one thing after another,'' Chicago manager Jerry
Manuel said. "There's been a proliferation of things.''

Tony Graffanino scored on Yan's wild pitch before Paul Konerko
tied it with an RBI single.

"When things aren't going well, your aggressiveness seems like
it's stupid or dumb baserunning,'' Johnson said. "But you can't
stop being aggressive.''

Aubrey Huff hit a three-run homer for the Devil Rays, who split
the four-game series. Tampa Bay (0-7-4) has not won a series since
June 28-30 against Florida.

White Sox starter Jon Garland, who retired his last 11 batters,
gave up three runs and three hits in seven innings. He had a
career-high eight strikeouts and two walks.

After Garland's first three batters got hits, he allowed just
two more runners -- both on walks.

"After that first inning, we really jumped him pretty good on
the bench and he responded,'' Manuel said.

Garland said he left the ball over the plate in the first.

"I just made a few adjustments warming up, and it seemed to
turn me around,'' Garland said.

Tampa Bay's Victor Zambrano gave up one run and four hits in his
first major league start. He had gone 4-4 with a 7.21 earned-run average in 31
relief appearances.

Devil Rays manager Hal McRae said Zambrano will get another
start.

"I really think I can be a starter,'' Zambrano said. "I'd like
to be a starter.''

Huff put the Devil Rays ahead with a three-run, first-inning
homer that followed consecutive singles by Randy Winn and Felix
Escalona. He has 12 homers in 248 at-bats this season after hitting
eight in 411 at-bats last year.

"You're thinking, in the first inning you get three runs, the
way we've been swinging lately, you figure we'll get a few more,''
Huff said.

Ordonez hit his 24th homer, an opposite field solo shot in the
second. He has 135 homers with White Sox, tying for seventh in team
history with Minnie Minoso.

Game notes
Tampa Bay activated LHP Wilson Alvarez (left elbow) from
the 15-day disabled list and optioned RHP Luis De Los Santos to
Triple-A Durham. ... Ordonez has nine homers in his past 17 games.
... Chicago 1B Paul Konerko went 5-for-18 with one RBI in the
four-game series. After having 71 RBI at the All-Star break, he
has just nine since. ... White Sox SS Jose Valentin was back in the
lineup after missing three games with a stiff neck. ... Zambrano is
the 10th Devil Rays' pitcher to start a game this season. He made
six minor league starts, including four for Orlando in 1999. ...
Garland allowed 24 runs in 27 innings in his previous five starts.