CHICAGO (AP) _ For Bartolo Colon the choice was easy. Protecting
teammate Magglio Ordonez was more important than getting a complete
Colon had thrown just 86 pitches and was three outs away from
going the distance against the Baltimore Orioles before he was
ejected Thursday night for hitting Jerry Hairston with a pitch to
start the ninth.
It was Colon's response to Baltimore reliever Jorge Julio for
plunking Ordonez in the eighth.
``I was in a situation I would like to finish it up, especially
when we are up 8-2,'' Colon said after the Chicago White Sox won
8-2 to complete a three-game sweep.
``When we get a guy like Magglio hit again, I've got to protect
my teammates. I tried to pitch inside and I hit the guy.''
Plate umpire Terry Craft had warned both dugouts in the eighth
after Julio drilled Ordonez _ who hit a three-run triple in
Chicago's six-run seventh inning _ with a high pitch in the back.
So when Colon hit Hairston in the shoulder with his second pitch
of the ninth, the ejection was automatic and his shot at a third
complete game was gone.
The benches emptied but there were no punches after an angry
Hairston put his arms out in anger, took a couple steps toward the
mound and asked Colon ``Why, why?''
``I'm the best player on the team and they always hit the best
player,'' Ordonez said.
``They hit me and we have to hit one of them. It's part of the
Hairston didn't exactly see it that way.
``Jorge Julio hasn't pitched in a week and he was a little off.
He walked Frank Thomas and Magglio knows that he wasn't trying to
hit him,'' Hairston said. ``That was my point. Sometimes you've got
to defend yourself. I'm just not going to stand up and take it.''
Julio said he was surprised that Colon hit Hairston.
``Everybody said, `What?''' Julio said. ``I haven't thrown the
ball in five days. I didn't have good command of the fastball.''
The victory moved the White Sox back to .500 for the first time
in 12 days. The Orioles have lost five straight.
Frank Thomas homered, singled and drew a key bases-loaded walk
to force in the go-ahead run in the seventh.
Colon (4-3) allowed five hits and two runs, walked one and
struck out five before he was tossed. White Sox manager Jerry
Manuel also was ejected.
After order was restored, Kelly Wunsch came in to pitch for the
White Sox and got the final three outs.
Chicago scored all six of its runs in the seventh with no outs.
Willie Harris singled and D'Angelo Jimenez, who couldn't get a bunt
down, drew a walk to finish Sidney Ponson (4-3).
After reliever B.J. Ryan walked Jose Valentin _ who also failed
to bunt _ loading the bases, Willis Roberts walked Thomas on a 3-2
pitch to force in a run that gave Chicago a 3-2 lead.
Ordonez then hit a liner to right-center that Melvin Mora dived
for but couldn't reach _ in the fifth inning Mora robbed Ordonez of
a hit on a similar play _ as all three runners scored.
Carlos Lee followed with an RBI single to finish Roberts before
Paul Konerko greeted Kerry Ligtenberg with a run-scoring double.
Larry Bigbie hit a two-run, opposite-field homer to put the
Orioles ahead 2-0 in the second.
Chicago got a run back in the bottom half when Joe Crede
grounded into a bases-loaded double play as a run scored. The White
Sox tied it on Thomas' ninth homer in the third, a liner that just
cleared the wall in left-center.
Thomas, with four homers in his last seven games, has all solo
homers this season.<
^Notes:@ Thomas' homer was his 385th, tying him with Dwight Evans
for 42nd on the career list. The run scored was his 1,187th, tying
Nellie Fox for second place on the team's career list. Thomas has
four career homers off Ponson. ... Baltimore manager Mike Hargrove,
whose mother died Monday, missed his fifth straight game. Bench
coach Sam Perlozzo said Hargrove could rejoin the team Friday when
the Orioles open a three-game series in Baltimore against Tampa
Bay. ... The Orioles don't have a complete game this season. ... It
was Chicago's first three-game sweep of the Orioles since Aug.
31-Sept. 2, 1998. ... Ponson had a three-game winning streak
stopped. ... The six runs were the most allowed in an inning by the
Orioles this season. Chicago also had a six-run inning against
Cleveland last month.