San Francisco Giants starter Kirk Rueter tries for his eighth win of the season as he faces Bartolo Colon and the Chicago White Sox in the finale of the teams’ three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field.
Rueter got his fifth straight win and improved his record to a team-best 7-1 Friday, giving up three earned runs and eight hits in six innings of a 5-3 win over the Detroit Tigers. The win improved Rueter’s career record in June to an impressive 21-6.
“I don’t pay any attention to those kind of stats,” he said. “As long as the team wins, that’s all that counts. Maybe in 10 years I can look back and reflect on them, but for now I’m just trying to win every game.”
Rueter, whose 91 wins for the Giants ranks fourth in team history, gave up all three runs on two homers—just the third and fourth he has allowed this season.
“I felt pretty good,” he said. “Everybody is going to give up homers, and they never make pitchers happy.”
Rueter could have his hands full against Colon, who comes in off his fifth complete game of the season, matching a major league high. The 30-year-old right-hander matched season lows on Saturday when he gave up just one earned run and four hits, throwing just 87 pitches in a 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“Todo,” meaning “everything,” said the Dominican-born Colon with a smile when asked what was working for him.
“I threw my pitches wherever I wanted and that kept them from the big inning and kept the pitch-count low.”
Colon, who has pitched complete games in three of his last four starts, set down 19 straight between the second and eighth innings and didn’t allow a hit out of the infield until the eighth.
“Every start he makes is a quality start,” third baseman Joe Crede said. “He’s just awesome.”
On Wednesday, the Giants evened the series with an 11-4 win over the White Sox—their fourth win in five games and 10th in 14. Pedro Feliz hit a first-inning grand slam, and Barry Bonds added his 630th career homer in the fifth inning for the Giants, who received a one-hit, eight inning effort from rookie starter Jesse Foppert.
Aaron Rowland hit his first homer of the season for the White Sox, who snapped a three-game losing streak.
STANDINGS: Giants - 1st place, NL West. White Sox - 3rd place, 7 1/2 GB, AL Central.
GIANTS PROBABLE STARTER: Rueter (7-1, 3.42 ERA). The 32-year-old left-hander, 2-0 with a 3.89 ERA in six road starts this season, has never faced the White Sox.
WHITE SOX PROBABLE STARTER: Colon (6-5, 3.68 ERA). In his only career start against the Giants, Colon gave up two earned runs and five hits in a 7-2 win for the Montreal Expos last Aug. 24.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Giants - Marquis Grissom, .315 avg. and 6 SBs; Bonds, 17 HRs, 39 RBIs and 43 runs. White Sox - Frank Thomas, .283 avg. and 13 HRs; Carlos Lee, 38 RBIs and 6 SBs.; D’Angelo Jimenez, Lee and Jose Valentin, 30 runs.
INTERLEAGUE RECORDS: Giants - 5-3; White Sox - 4-4.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Giants - Feliz’s grand slam was the first of the year for the Giants. … RHP Kurt Ainsworth, on the 15-day disabled list with a slight strain of his right shoulder blade, could be activated Sunday in Kansas City. However, manager Felipe Alou said that he didn’t want to rush Ainsworth’s return. … The Giants are tied with the Atlanta Braves for the best road record in the National League at 19-11. White Sox - RF Magglio Ordonez, who was out of the lineup Tuesday with an upper respiratory infection, was back in on Wednesday. 1B Paul Konerko, in the midst of a 1-for-34 slump, was given the day off. … The White Sox rank second to last in the American League with just 255 runs scored. … 1B/DH Thomas went 0-for-3 Wednesday, snapping a 12-game hitting streak—his longest since 1999.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Giants - 19-11 on the road; White Sox - 17-13 at home.