ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- This time, the Chicago White Sox didn't
need a complete game from a starting pitcher to beat the Los
Angeles Angels. Their offense was more than enough.
Jermaine Dye hit a two-run homer, and Scott Podsednik and
Tadahito Iguchi both added two RBI, and the White Sox beat the
Angels 8-5 on Friday night in their first meeting since the AL
Freddy Garcia (4-1) allowed three runs and four hits over six
innings and struck out five, helping the defending World Series
champions win for the 10th time in 12 games.
The White Sox beat the Angels in five games last October for
their first pennant since 1959. After losing the opener, they got
consecutive complete-game victories out of Mark Buehrle, Jon
Garland, Garcia and Jose Contreras. Buehrle is the only one the
Angels won't see in this three-game series.
"It's great when you don't have to use your bullpen, because
that means your starting rotation is doing a tremendous job,"
manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Like I was saying back in Chicago,
don't expect our guys to come in here and throw shutouts and
complete games because the Angels are so good. But if we have to
use our bullpen, we'll use it."
The victory was Garcia's fourth straight and 103rd of his big
league career, surpassing former White Sox lefty Wilson Alvarez for
the most wins among pitchers born in Venezuela. On April 18, a
record seven pitchers of Venezuelan decent started on the same day
-- and Garcia wasn't one of them.
"It's something he's worked hard for and he'll continue to win
more games," said Guillen, another native of Venezuela. "Before
it was easy to get the record because there wasn't that many
Venezuelan pitchers. But now there are so many pitchers from our
country like (Johan) Santana, (Carlos) Zambrano and (Kelvim)
Escobar who are still young with good arms and have a chance to
break Freddy's record."
Chicago staked Garcia to an 8-2 lead before the Angels chipped
away at the White Sox bullpen -- which they didn't see at all last
October except for two-thirds of an inning by lefty Neal Cotts in
Vladimir Guerrero, who was 1-for-20 against Chicago in the
playoffs, sliced the deficit to 8-4 in the seventh with an RBI
single against Brandon McCarthy. Garret Anderson followed with an
RBI single against Cotts, who retired the next six batters before
Bobby Jenks got the final out.
"They seem to be playing pretty good, so everyone in the
American League has their work cut out for them," Angels second
baseman Adam Kennedy said. "It doesn't really matter that we got
to their bullpen. I mean, what's the difference? Freddy didn't have
his great stuff tonight and he still battled through six innings."
Guerrero, who drove in four runs, gave the two-time defending AL
West champs the lead in the first with a two-run homer over the
double-decker bullpen in left field.
But the White Sox responded with a five-run second against Jeff
Weaver (1-3). The right-hander forced in the first run with a
two-out walk to No. 9 hitter Brian Anderson, then gave up a two-run
single by Podsednik and a two-run double by Iguchi that was played
poorly at the left field fence by Garret Anderson.
"We've been great this year with two out and we've gotten a lot
of clutch hits," Guillen said. "Weaver was a little wild and
couldn't find the plate, so we were very patient with him and took
advantage of it."
Chicago extended the lead to 8-2 in the third with three runs
and knocked out Weaver, who lasted just 2 1/3 innings in the
shortest of his five starts with the Angels. He surrendered eight
hits and two walks and was booed by the sellout crowd of 43,940.
"I deserved to be booed off the field," Weaver said. "I got
my butt kicked. What do you expect? They want us to win. We're
playing a key team to establish something, and I let the team down
tonight, plain and simple. I fell behind to quite a few hitters and
they made me pay. I'm sure I'll be facing them again. So if I'm out
there again, hopefully I'll do a better job."
Guerrero's homer was his sixth of the season and first of his
career against Garcia, who is 12-3 in 23 career starts against the
Angels with a 2.73 ERA -- his lowest against any AL team.
Alvarez, who retired at the end of last season, pitched a
no-hitter in his first start with the White Sox back on Aug. 11,
1991 at Baltimore. No one has thrown one for them since. ...
Chicago DH Jim Thome struck out his first four times up, twice
against RHP Kevin Gregg, who worked 3 2-3 scoreless innings in
relief and fanned five. ... Podsednik opened the game with a
single, but was picked off first by catcher Jose Molina with Thome
at the plate. Molina has picked off nine baserunners since the
start of the 2004 season. ... Garcia is 7-1 against the Angels in