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McPherson's two-out, two-run homer lifts Angels

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Another pitching duel ensued between the
Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Angels. Fittingly, one pitch
decided the game.

John Lackey threw seven sharp innings and Dallas McPherson hit a
go-ahead two-run homer to give the Angels a 3-2 victory Thursday
night.

"It was good to win, no matter how we did it or who did it,"
said McPherson, who started the season at Triple-A Salt Lake.

Lackey (5-2) gave up two runs and six hits, struck out five and
walked two as the teams split the four-game series that was
dominated by solid pitching on both sides.

"Both clubs pitched outstanding baseball and had timely
defense," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "It was a good
series if you're a baseball purist."

Scot Shields got the final four outs for his sixth save in seven
chances.

The Angels, who have been limited to three runs or fewer in 13
of 23 games this month, canceled batting practice -- except for a
few players who sharpened their swings in the indoor batting cage.

One of those players was McPherson, who homered to center field
on his first pitch from Jose Contreras (2-2) with two outs in the
seventh. Garret Anderson scored after hitting a leadoff single and
advancing to second on a sacrifice by Jeff DaVanon.

"I've been trying to get back to basics and see if it works,"
said McPherson, who had his first major league triple Wednesday
night. "I haven't been getting the results, but I've been making
adjustments. Hitting is contagious. Hopefully, this gets us back on
a winning streak."

The Angels' other run came in the first on a RBI groundout by
Darin Erstad after Chone Figgins hit a leadoff triple.

Contreras allowed three runs and four hits in seven innings,
struck out a season-high nine and walked one.

"This kid deserved better," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen
said. "It seems like the pitchers can't make a mistake because we
haven't been giving them run support lately."

Carl Everett's struggles reflected what the rest of the White
Sox went through. He was 1-for-15 in the series, with his only hit
being a homer that helped Chicago win 2-1 Tuesday.

"Our pitching has been carrying us and our pitchers should be
tired of carrying us," he said. "They've been giving us their max
effort the whole time. They've been doing great and we've just been
mediocre."

After giving up a run in the first, Contreras didn't allow
another hit until Orlando Cabrera's two-out double in the fifth.

"McPherson was waiting for that pitch because that's the pitch
I wanted to throw him -- a four-seam fastball," Contreras said
through a translator. "I hit the location I wanted to hit and he
was sitting on that. You can lose a game with one pitch. It hurts
me to lose because we were so close, but it hurts me more because
the team played a great game."

Chicago tied the game at 1 in the fourth on Tadahito Iguchi's
RBI single. Lackey threw a wild pitch and loaded the bases before
escaping.

"A couple well-placed balls just found the spaces to drop a
couple in," he said. "Contreras threw a heck of a game and kept
us off-balance."

The White Sox led 2-1 in the seventh on Pablo Ozuna's
opposite-field RBI single.

The Angels won the series opener Monday behind 22-year-old Ervin
Santana's five-hit shutout, snapping Jon Garland's 10-game winning
streak. Chicago won 2-1 in 11 innings Tuesday and Freddy Garcia won
4-2 Wednesday.

Game notes
Figgins' nine-game hitting streak is the longest by an
Angel this season. ... Shields has allowed one earned run in his
last 19 outings and lowered his ERA to 0.96 this season. ... The
White Sox haven't won a series at Angel Stadium since Aug. 5-7,
1994. They are 15-39 in Anaheim since then. ... McPherson had his
first RBI in 15 games.