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Escobar, Angels drop White Sox 10 back of Tigers

CHICAGO (AP) -- Kelvim Escobar put aside the past and got a rare
win against the Chicago White Sox.

Escobar pitched six solid innings and Vladimir Guerrero hit one
of three solo homers for the Los Angeles Angels in a 6-3 victory
Monday night.

"I know I don't have good success against this team, but I've
pitched well at times and still haven't gotten a good result,"
Escobar said.

Escobar (8-9) gave up two runs and six hits to improve to 2-9
against the White Sox, including 1-7 as a starter. He also lost a
pair of games to Chicago in the AL championship series last
October.

"I was out there forgetting about what happened last year and
just trying to pitch," he said. "It's been tough on me all year,
pitching well and not winning many games."

Robb Quinlan and Jose Molina also homered off struggling Chicago
starter Mark Buehrle, dropping the defending World Series champions
10 games behind first-place Detroit in the AL Central.

"We can't worry about what other teams are doing," Buehrle
said. "If Detroit goes undefeated the rest of the year and wins
every game, we got to shoot for the wild card. But until the
division is not ours and they say there is no way you can win it,
we're still shooting for the division."

Buehrle (9-10) lost his sixth straight decision and has not won
since June 27. The three-time All-Star yielded all three solo shots
-- Quinlan's sixth homer in the third, Guerrero's 24th in the fourth
and Molina's third in the fifth.

The Angels chased the left-hander with a two-out, three-run
rally in the seventh. Buehrle committed a bases-loaded balk during
the inning when he and first baseman Paul Konerko got confused on a
pickoff play.

"One of those plays we tried to put on before. I feel
responsible. I got the ball in my hand. I didn't make sure the play
was on, just a miscommunication," Buehrle said. "Just one of
those innings. I got two outs and everything fell apart."

With two outs in the seventh, Buehrle walked Tim Salmon, gave up
a single to Quinlan and after a visit from manager Ozzie Guillen,
walked Molina to load the bases. Buehrle then started to throw
toward first -- hoping to pick Molina off by going behind him -- but
Konerko wasn't there. Buehrle held onto the ball and a balk was
called that gave the Angels a 4-2 lead.

Chone Figgins followed with a two-run single to finish Buehrle,
who yielded seven hits and six runs in 6 2-3 innings.

"I think Jose Molina had the big at-bats for us tonight, him
and Robb Quinlan," Figgins said. "We just wore Buehrle down."

Francisco Rodriguez pitched a perfect ninth for his 27th save in
30 chances.

Jim Thome hit his 34th homer for Chicago.

The game was a makeup of a May 11 rainout. The White Sox began a
season-long 11-game homestand, with series against the Yankees,
Tigers and Royals to follow. The Angels started a 10-game road trip
that also includes visits to Cleveland, New York and Texas.

Chicago got a run in the fourth on Thome's double, Konerko's
grounder and an RBI infield single by Jermaine Dye.

Singles by Tadahito Iguchi, Konerko and Joe Crede cut the
Angels' lead to 3-2 in the sixth. Thome homered off Hector Carrasco
in the eighth.

It was a sweet win for Escobar, who angered Guillen by hitting
A.J. Pierzynski with a pitch during a loss to the White Sox in
April.

There were no repercussions. Pierzynski didn't start, but
pinch-hit in the ninth. Sandy Alomar Jr. got the nod behind the
plate.

Escobar and Pierzynski were involved in two of the most pivotal
plays of the AL championship series last October.

In Game 2, Pierzynski struck out against Escobar but reached
first when an umpire ruled Angels catcher Josh Paul, who rolled the
ball back to the mound, had not caught the ball before it hit the
dirt.

In Game 5, Pierzynski reached safely after Escobar tagged him
with his glove -- while the ball was in the pitcher's other hand.
Escobar was the loser in both games.

On Monday night, he got the win by keeping the White Sox off
balance with a mix of pitches.

"The middle of their lineup is as good as there is in
baseball," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I thought Kelvim
did a great job of making the pitch when he had to."

Game notes
Buehrle has given up 24 homers, four more than all last
season. It was the second time this season he has given up three in
a game. ... Iguchi was 1-for-18 before his sixth-inning single. ...
Howie Kendrick's 16-game hitting streak ended when he went 0-for-5.