<
>

Wells charged with 10 earned runs in 5 1/3 innings

8/28/2003

NEW YORK (AP) -- Roberto Alomar and Frank Thomas put the latest
"Big Hurt" on the New York Yankees.

Alomar and Thomas homered in Chicago's seven-run fourth inning
as the White Sox routed David Wells and the Yankees 11-2 Wednesday
night.

"We're trying to win," Thomas said. "Kansas City is right
there with us so our work is cut out for us."

Alomar drove in four runs with a two-run homer that capped the
fourth-inning outburst and a two-run double in the sixth that
chased Wells, who was charged with a season-high 10 runs.

Bartolo Colon struck out a season-high 10, and the AL
Central-leading White Sox got 15 hits in winning for the eighth
time in nine games.

"It was kind of what we've been looking for all along,"
manager Jerry Manuel said. "He came in on a good stage following
(Esteban) Loaiza's outing and pitched tremendously right from the
first pitch."

The Yankees' AL East lead over Boston, which was 7{ games last
Thursday, was cut to four. After Thursday's series finale, New York
visits Fenway Park for a three-game series.

"We can't worry about Boston," shortstop Derek Jeter said.
"We have to forget about these two games and try to come back
tomorrow and win. That's all that matters right now."

Chicago maintained its one-game lead over Kansas City.

"A win is a win to me," Manuel said. "That's the bottom line
at this time of year. You've got to try to win series and that's
what we've done."

Thomas, who went 3-for-5, started the uprising in the fourth
with a solo shot into the first row of seats in left field, quite
different from Tuesday when his grand slam hit high off the foul
pole in a 13-2 win.

Chicago's 24 runs the last two nights are the most by a visiting
team at Yankee Stadium since the White Sox won 10-9 and 17-4 on
June 17-18, 2000.

"I think we might've caught them at the right time and they
might have caught us at a bad time," Manuel said.

Alomar has avoided the New York media in his first trip back to
the city since being dealt by the Mets last month. He brought loud
groans from fans, who booed him each time up, by ripping a two-run
homer to left that gave the White Sox a 7-2 lead.

Chicago pounded two homers, a triple and three doubles in the
fourth off Wells (12-5), who has just one victory since the
All-Star break. The left-hander had won six of eight decisions but
is 0-2 in his last six starts.

Wells was replaced by Antonio Osuna with one out in the sixth
after yielding 11 hits and walking two.

Wells has been bothered by a bad back, but by all accounts it
was not a factor this time. He didn't speak to reporters after the
game.

"If he's not healthy, I don't know that," Yankees catcher
Jorge Posada said. "He says he's OK.

"I had a problem with the pitches. The location was not there.
You try to go into the game with a good game plan. I thought we had
a good game plan, it's just not happening."

Thomas has six homers in six games and eight in nine during a
resurgent season. Overall, he has 36 homers after hitting a
combined 32 the past two seasons.

He greeted Osuna with an RBI single that gave the White Sox a
10-2 advantage.

Colon (12-11) threw consistently in the 90s in his first outing
against the Yankees since 2001. He allowed two runs, nine hits and
one walk in seven innings to win for the sixth time in eight
starts.

Nick Johnson gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead with his 11th homer in
the second. Jeter added an RBI single in the third.

After Thomas' homer in the fourth, Carl Everett doubled in
Carlos Lee, who walked. Paul Konerko followed with an RBI double,
and Joe Crede doubled off the right-field fence, sending Konerko to
third.

Konerko was nailed at the plate when Miguel Olivo hit into a
fielder's choice, but Tony Graffanino tripled in two runs to make
it 5-2 before Alomar hit his second homer with the White Sox.

Konerko hit his 15th homer in the ninth to cap a 3-for-4 night.

"I don't think it does anything to the Yankees," Konerko said
of the consecutive blowouts. "I think they know they're a great
team. I don't think they take it to heart too much getting beat
twice by a lot of runs. They're the Yankees, everybody knows that.
They're going to be fine."

Game notes
Anna Kournikova threw out the first pitch, taking a big
windup from in front of the mound and tossing the ball to Posada.
Kournikova, like Wells, is battling back problems, and was forced
to miss the U.S. Open. ... Rookie Neal Cotts will start Thursday's
series finale for Chicago. ... Yankees 3B Aaron Boone returned
after a sore ankle sidelined him Tuesday. ... Hideki Matsui didn't
start for the second straight game, but went into left field in the
fifth after David Dellucci sprained his left ankle when he grounded
out to end the fourth. Matsui has played in all 131 games this
season for New York. ... Magglio Ordonez and Crede also had two
hits each. Lee was the only Chicago starter without a hit.