" Hero: Pierzynski came in the game as a pinch-hitter for rookie catcher Gustavo Molina in the eighth, and left it as the most valuable player on the field.
" Figure this: Angels CF Gary Matthews Jr. -- the only player to start in
each of the team's first 31 games and play every inning -- got the
" Quotable: "It makes you happy when you hit a home run and the crowd's
booing," A.J. Pierzynski on his pinch-hit homer in the eighth.
-- ESPN.com news services
Whites Sox 4, Angels 3
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- A.J. Pierzynski is still scorned at Angel Stadium, and expects to be for some time to come.
"It was fun," said Pierzynski, booed every time he comes to the plate in this ballpark since the 2005 AL championship series. "They always will. But it's good, because that means they have good fans who remember and who care. It's good for the game and it's good that people remember things."
Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez (0-2) was pitching his second inning when he allowed a two-out double by Ryan Sweeney. Pierzynski blooped the right-hander's next pitch into short left field and just inside the line for the go-ahead run.
"You never want to see Shields and Rodriguez coming out of their bullpen because that's about as tough as it gets. But we got lucky," Pierzynski said. "They made some mistakes and we got some hits. Our bullpen did a great job by holding them down and giving us a chance to come back."
Matt Thornton (2-1) got two outs for the win and Bobby Jenks fanned three batters in the 10th for his 10th save in 11 chances. With two on, he struck out Reggie Willits and Chone Figgins to end it. The Angels stranded 14 baserunners.
Angels starter Bartolo Colon took a shutout into the eighth, then allowed two more hits before leaving after 87 pitches with a mild strain in his right biceps.
"We'll take it day to day with Bart and see how it feels," manager Mike Scioscia said. "I think there's as much chance he'll make his next start as he won't."
Scot Shields got as much time as he needed to warm up because of the injury -- but apparently it wasn't enough.
Shields took over with runners at the corners and got Sweeney to hit a popup. Second baseman Erick Aybar lost it in the glaring sun, and Joe Crede hustled home before the Angels got the force at second on Alex Cintron.
Pierzynski batted for rookie catcher Gustavo Molina and drove an 0-1 pitch to right field for his first career pinch-hit homer and the first this season by the White Sox.
"It makes you happy when you hit a home run and the crowd's booing," Pierzynski added.
All three home runs Shields has allowed this season have blown leads. Travis Hafner's three-run shot off the right-hander on April 12 gave Cleveland a 4-2 lead. Ben Broussard's pinch-hit grand slam on April 21 put Seattle ahead 7-6. Those homers came in the eighth inning as well.
As he approached the first-base dugout, Pierzynski doffed his helmet to the stunned crowd of 42,017. He then took over behind the plate for Molina, who was starting his fourth game of the season.
"I was joking with Molina the last few games I haven't started this year," Pierzynski said, "and I was telling him, `One of these days, you're going to get a complete game.' So we have two goals for him -- to get him a hit and get him a complete game."
Colon was charged with two runs, five hits and no walks while striking out two. It was the right-hander's fourth start after beginning the season on the disabled list because of a partially torn rotator cuff that sidelined the 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner for the final two months of last season.
Robb Quinlan had a homer, two doubles and two RBIs against Chicago's Mark Buehrle, who allowed three runs and seven hits over six innings in his third start since pitching a no-hitter against Texas on April 18.
Quinlan, mostly a bit player during the last five seasons with the Angels, is 7-for-18 lifetime against Buehrle with three homers and four RBIs. By comparison, slugger Vladimir Guerrero is 5-for-15 against the left-hander with two homers and two RBIs.
"Going into today, it was kind of like, `Don't let Vladdy beat us," Buehrle said. "A lot of times I just get up for the bigger-name guys and don't really pay too much attention to the guys after them. I was throwing everything up there and he was just getting hits off me."
Quinlan, starting at first base in place of Casey Kotchman because of his numbers against Buehrle, drove an 0-2 pitch about four rows into the lower seats down the left-field line and just beyond Sweeney's reach leading off the sixth inning to give Los Angeles a 3-0 lead.
"I don't get any more excited to see him out there than anyone else. It's just nice to be in the lineup," Quinlan said. "He works quickly, so you've got to be ready to hit."
Buehrle is 0-4 in his last 10 regular-season starts against the Angels since pitching a four-hitter on Aug. 8, 2001, for his only regular-season victory against them. He also beat them with a five-hitter in Game 2 of the 2005 ALCS, the first of four consecutive complete-game victories by the White Sox staff.
Angels CF Gary Matthews Jr., the only player to start in each of the team's first 31 games and play every inning, got the day off. ... Molina is not related to the other three catchers in the big leagues with that surname. Jose, Bengie and Yadier Molina are brothers.