Lee extended his career-best hitting streak to 26 games, going
3-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI in Chicago's 10-8 win over the
Atlanta Braves on Saturday night.
It's the longest hitting streak in the majors after Jeff Kent's
25-game streak was snapped earlier in the night.
The White Sox left fielder also can tie the franchise record set
by Albert Belle in 1997 with another hit on Sunday.
"Anytime you can do that, it's special," Lee said. "Albert
Belle was a great hitter. That would be a nice accomplishment."
He singled again in the fourth and added a run-scoring single in
the sixth that gave the White Sox a two-run cushion.
Lee got plenty of help from first baseman Frank Thomas, who
homered twice and passed his own milestone. Thomas hit career
homers 432 and 433, moving him past Cal Ripken Jr. into 31st place
on the all-time home run list.
"Frank looks great at the plate right now," Lee said. "You
guys see it. He's feeling really good at the plate. As long as he's
patient, he can do this every day."
Juan Uribe was 2-for-5 with a three-run double for Chicago,
which has scored 10 or more runs in three of four games.
Thomas hit a solo homer in the fourth to make it 5-0, though it
did come with some confusion. Thomas' 14th homer cleared the
right-center fence, then bounced back onto the field. Thomas stood
at second for several seconds until umpire Larry Poncino finally
ruled it a home run, allowing Thomas to trot home.
Esteban Loaiza (7-3) was hit hard, but stayed in the game long
enough to earn the win. He gave up six runs in six innings on eight
hits, walking three and striking out six.
Shingo Takatsu pitched the ninth to get his first major league
save. He's the all-time Japanese saves leader with 260.
"In Japan, this is standard," Takatsu said through a
translator. "This is my first one in the U.S. I was really excited
to get the first one here."
Takatsu hasn't been handed the closer's job, though he appears
to be the favorite -- for now. The right-hander, who struggled badly
in spring training, has thrown 20 1-3 scoreless innings. He retired
three left-handers in the ninth.
"That's why we took a chance at putting him in that role,"
manager Ozzie Guillen said. "In spring training, I would have been
afraid to use him against anybody. As the season has continued to
go on, he's made good pitches against righties and lefties."
Guillen was ejected in the sixth by umpire Gerry Davis for
arguing balls and strikes. It was the first career ejection for
Guillen, and he stayed on the field for several minutes before
finally leaving to a loud standing ovation.
"Arguing balls and strikes is wrong. But the last two games, I
felt like there were a couple of pitches off the plate and we
didn't get the call," Guillen said. "I have to do that to protect
my players, and I'll do anything to do it."
Loaiza retired eight of the first 10 hitters he faced and didn't
give up a hit until the fourth inning, when Green singled to right
and scored on J.D. Drew's homer to left. The Braves put two more
runners on, but stranded them when Loaiza struck out Andruw Jones
swinging to end the inning.
Loaiza, a 21-game winner last season, got in trouble again in
the fifth. Rafael Furcal drove in Marrero with a double, Green
singled to score Furcal and Chipper Jones hit a two-run homer to
tie it at 6.
John Thomson (5-4) allowed seven runs -- six earned -- on 10 hits
in five innings for Atlanta. He walked three and struck out seven.
"It was tough on both pitchers tonight," Braves manager Bobby
Cox said. "We made a great comeback. Five runs down is hard to do
and we did it. We just couldn't find a way to hold them."
The Braves added two runs in the eighth on Marrero's RBI single
and run-scoring fielder's choice by Mark DeRosa.
Thomas started at first base for the first time this
season. He's getting some work in the field before the White Sox
begin a six-game road trip to two NL cities. ... Julio Franco needs
two RBI to break Pete Rose's record of 25 by a player over the age