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Hermanson nets another save, extends scoreless streak

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Freddy Garcia won a career-high 18 games
four years ago with Seattle. A closer like Dustin Hermanson could
make him a 20-game winner with the Chicago White Sox this season.

Garcia pitched eight strong innings Wednesday night and
Hermanson remained perfect out of the bullpen as the White Sox beat
the Los Angeles Angels 4-2 with home runs from Paul Konerko and
Chris Widger.

Hermanson recorded his 11th save in as many attempts and
extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings -- the longest by a
White Sox pitcher from the start of a season since 1969. He is the
only pitcher in the majors who has not allowed a run and pitched at
least 15 innings.

"I'm enjoying it, but I'm enjoying the start the team's having
more than anything," Hermanson said. "We have a bunch of guys who
put their egos aside when we come into the clubhouse. We don't care
who gets the wins or who gets the saves, as long as we're putting a
'W' on the board."

The 11-year veteran, pitching for his sixth team, came up in
1995 as a reliever with San Diego before becoming a starter with
Montreal and St. Louis. He had 17 saves last year with San
Francisco, and is much more comfortable in his current role.

"It's really not much of a difference because back in those
days I considered myself a closer who was starting and I think that
might have gotten me in a little bit of trouble," Hermanson said.
"I'd use a lot [of energy] the first couple of innings because I
had a closer mentality from when I was in the minor leagues. So
it's been a fairly easy transition so far."

The victory improved Chicago's record to a major league-best
33-14, matching the 1951 White Sox for the best start in the
franchise's 105-year history.

Garcia (5-3) improved his career record against the Angels to
11-3, allowing two runs and seven hits, while striking out six. The
two-time All-Star, who won the AL's ERA title in 2001, won
consecutive starts for the first time this season. He joined the
White Sox in a trade last June.

"Here's a guy who pitched in the playoffs on a very good
Seattle team and was like the ace of the staff and a go-to guy.
Then he comes over here, and you don't hear his name mentioned,"
Konerko said.

"You hear a lot about Mark Buehrle and Jon Garland and you
forget about him. But he's pitched in a lot of big ballgames. We
have three guys who you can consider as aces right now, so it's a
nice luxury to have."

Darin Erstad's two-out RBI double in the eighth brought the
Angels within 4-2. Damaso Marte gave up a single to Garret Anderson
in the ninth, but Hermanson retired pinch-hitters Bengie Molina and
Curtis Pride on fly balls.

Both of Chicago's homers came off Jarrod Washburn (3-3), who
allowed four runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. The left-hander
hasn't won at Anaheim in 11 starts since last July 15. Washburn is
26-29 in his career with a 4.81 ERA at home -- compared to 44-23
with a 3.37 ERA on the road.

"I have no idea what the reason is," Washburn said. "I've
pitched terrible here and I've pitched pretty darn good on the
road. I'm not more amped up at all. I approach it exactly the same.
It's a shame, really. The fans here have never even seen me really
be good. They think I'm a bum -- a .500 pitcher."

The White Sox staked Garcia to a 4-0 lead through two innings.
Washburn grazed Pablo Ozuna on the front of the shirt to open the
game. Aaron Rowand singled one out later and Konerko followed with
his 12th homer.

"I was just trying to be aggressive and not get behind,"
Konerko said. "I was ready to hit. I wasn't going to take."

Widger made it 4-0 in the second with his second homer of the
season and the first of his three consecutive hits against
Washburn.

The Angels scored in the third with an RBI double by No. 9
hitter Adam Kennedy. The RBI was only the fourth in 64 at-bats for
Kennedy, who had knee surgery in the offseason.

Angels reliever Joel Peralta made his major league debut,
pitching 2 1/3 perfect innings and striking out four of his first
five batters. The 29-year-old Dominican right-hander, who was
signed as an infielder by Oakland in 1966, was promoted from
Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday when closer Francisco Rodriguez went
on the 15-day disabled list.

Game notes
Widger, Chicago's backup catcher, was 3-for-4 and is
10-for-19 in his last five starts. ... Angels rookie 3B Dallas
McPherson, who had gone 13 straight games without an extra-base
hit, got his first major league triple in the seventh. ...
Konerko's home run was only the fifth with more than one runner on
base for the White Sox, who have hit 53 homers. ... Chicago's
victory evened the all-time series with the Angels at 313 wins
apiece. ... Garcia is 6-1 lifetime at Anaheim with a 3.16 ERA. He
is 11-2 in his last 14 road starts overall.