CHICAGO (AP) -- Esteban Loaiza is showing his 2003 form.
Loaiza (6-3) struck out Alfonso Soriano in the fourth inning for
his 1,000th career strikeout and struck out the side in the fifth.
He retired eight straight batters between the fifth and seventh
The right-hander, who was runner-up to Roy Halladay for the AL
Cy Young last season, has pitched at least seven innings in four
straight starts. He has a 3.19 ERA in his last 31 innings.
"The way I felt today was the way I felt last year when I was
pitching," Loaiza said. "My velocity is back. I was looking at
the video after the game and my last inning I was throwing 94,
Loaiza kept Texas hitters off-balanced by mixing up his changeup
"I want to be the same guy from last year," Loaiza said.
"It's just one of the things that hitters are more aggressive on
my cutter. I have to work on both sides of the plate a little
Hank Blalock went 0-for-3 against Loaiza and had a tough time
figuring him out.
"He made quality pitches. He changed speeds and worked
different parts of the zone. I didn't see too many pitches against
him. I swung early," said Blalock.
Olivo homered on a 2-2 pitch from Rangers starter Joaquin Benoit
(2-2) in the second inning.
Thomas hit his 427th career home run leading off the third. It
was his 10th of the season.
Loaiza got help from right fielder Aaron Rowand and Olivo in the
third inning after giving up his first hit of the game. Loaiza
walked leadoff hitter Gary Matthews Jr. and retired the next two
Matthews tried to score from second on Michael Young's single,
but was thrown out at the plate by Rowand. Matthews collided with
catcher Olivo before reaching the plate.
Rowand started in right for Magglio Ordonez, who missed the game
with a strained left calf.<
Benoit pitched four innings for Texas, giving up four runs on
six hits with five strikeouts.<
^Notes: Texas was shut out for the first time this season. ...
Before the game, the Rangers placed right-hander Chan Ho Park on
the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to May 20. Right-hander
reliever Rosman Garcia was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma to take
Park's place on the roster. ... SS Jose Valentin snapped a string
of seven straight strikeouts with a single in the eighth. ... The
White Sox claimed right-hander Eduardo Villacis off waivers from
Kansas City. Villacis was 2-0 with a 2.67 ERA with Double-A