CHICAGO (AP) -- First, Ozzie Guillen threw a towel. Later, he
slammed a water bottle.
In a move designed to upgrade at the backup catcher position, the Chicago White Sox on Sunday night acquired 40-year old Sandy Alomar from the Dodgers for minor league pitching prospect B.J. LaMura, MLB.com reported.
LaMura was 5-0 with a 1.69 ERA at Double-A Birmingham.
"[Acquiring Alomar] was a specific request, and I followed suit and made the acquisition," Chicago GM Ken Williams told MLB.com. "The coaches thought at this juncture of the season, with Sandy's experience, especially with certain members of our staff, combined with his ability to give us quality at-bats against tough left-handers and move runners and put bunts down, it was a definite upgrade."
The acquisition of Alomar led to the White Sox designating current backup catcher Chris Widger for assignment. The move came as a shock to some players, as Widger is widely known as a positive clubhouse presence.
"Emotionally, you get attached to some guys because you are with them day in and day out," said Jon Garland, Sunday's winning pitcher. "They become your brother, your family. To see someone like [Widger] go, it's a big loss in the clubhouse. He's a great person. He can talk to anyone about anything, and he helps a lot of people out in different ways."
Widger was equally upset at having to leave the team that brought Chicago its first World Series title since 1917.
"I played with the best group of guys I ever played with, probably the best clubhouse I've ever been a part of," Widger said. "I wish them the best of luck. I love these guys. They gave me a chance to come back and win a World Series ring."
-- ESPN.com news services
"This guy [Padilla] is the nastiest pitcher in the league and
all of a sudden, he hits someone," Guillen said. "I was upset
also because Garland ... missed it. I expect him to do a better
Garland pitched 8 1/3 shutout innings, and the White Sox snapped
a four-game losing streak and avoided a sweep.
But the ill will between Chicago and Padilla resurfaced
after Texas' starter hit Alex Cintron in the third inning. Garland
responded by throwing the first two pitches of the fourth behind
The White Sox managed just five hits, but they moved runners.
Ross Gload had two sacrifice bunts that led to runs. And Tadahito Iguchi delivered the big blow with two out in the fifth, when he
followed Scott Podsednik's second RBI grounder with his 11th homer
to extend Chicago's lead to 4-0. Podsednik led off the eighth with
a homer off Joaquin Benoit.
That was enough for Garland (10-3), who won his sixth straight
decision. He gave up six hits, struck out three and walked one.
Garland left to a standing ovation with runners on first and second
in the ninth before Matt Thornton got the final two outs.
"We're entertainers," Garland said. "They pay to see us get a
win. It doesn't always happen. I wish I could do it every time out.
It's nice to see them come out and support us. Hopefully, nobody's
giving up on us."
With seven losses in the previous eight games, the White Sox
trailed Detroit by 6½ and were just three ahead of Minnesota in the
AL Central. And their lead over New York for the wild card was just
1½ entering Sunday's game.
Padilla, 5-1 in his previous eight starts, allowed four runs
(one earned), struck out eight and walked one in seven innings. And
he was embroiled in another controversy with Chicago.
Padilla (10-6) hit A.J. Pierzynski in his first two at-bats on
June 14, and Guillen was seen slamming a water bottle after
reliever Sean Tracey got Hank Blalock on a grounder leading off the
seventh. Agustin Montero then came in to pitch and Guillen yelled
in the dugout, while Tracey sat with the collar of his jersey
pulled over his head. A day later, the White Sox obtained reliever
David Riske in a trade with Boston and sent Tracey -- who has since
been recalled -- to Triple-A.
Guillen thought Padilla intentionally hit Pierzynski and
promised before this series to retaliate if he "does something
This time, things became heated after Rob Mackowiak led off the
third with an infield single. Padilla's next pitch hit Cintron in
the thigh, and an angry Guillen threw down a towel and took a step
out of the dugout. After Gload's sacrifice, Podsednik drove in
Mackowiak with a ground ball to second.
Kinsler knew what to expect leading off the top of the fourth:
"I knew he was trying to hit me. That's part of the game. That's
the way Ozzie likes to play the game."
Both benches were warned. Kinsler walked, and Guillen slammed a
"Unfortunately, Garland missed him a couple times," Guillen
said. "I'm not the guy who's going to sit there and take my
hitters being hit -- and not do anything about it. It's not fair for
us. My players know I'm behind them 100 percent. When I talked to
Jon about it, he was upset. He was cool. ... After that happened,
it was over with."
Garland said, "We talked about it. Everything's all right."
The drama aside, Garland was dominant. And Padilla nearly
matched him through four innings.
But after scoring seven runs the previous four games, the White
Sox padded their lead in the fifth.
They had runners on first and second with none out after Kinsler
booted Mackowiak's grounder to second and Cintron singled.
Mackowiak scored the game's second run on Podsednik's one-out
grounder to short, and Iguchi drove an 0-1 pitch over the
right-field wall for a 4-0 lead.
"Huge. Huge," Podsednik said of the win. "This one,
hopefully, will give us some momentum going into the next
Rangers manager Buck Showalter missed Sunday's game because
of an irregular heartbeat brought on by dehydration and was
expected to spend the night in the hospital. Bench coach Don
Wakamatsu managed the Rangers. ... The White Sox designated backup
C Chris Widger for assignment after Sunday's game -- a move that
surprised the veteran. Although he was batting just .184, Widger
said he was told the main reason for the move was a lack of game
preparation. "I thought this was home," he said. "I thought I
did a good job for these guys. It's the first time I've ever been
released [for reasons] I don't get." Widger has a .239 average and
55 homers in 11 seasons with Seattle, Montreal, the New York
Yankees, St. Louis and Chicago. ... The White Sox honored Hall of
Fame double-play combination Nellie Fox and Luis Aparicio with
life-sized bronze sculptures in the center-field concourse on
Sunday. The statues show Fox flipping the ball toward Aparicio, who
is waiting with outstretched arms and his right foot touching
second base. They join club founder Charles Comiskey, Minnie Minoso
and Carlton Fisk with sculptures.