White Sox 5, Dodgers 3
CHICAGO (AP)—These Chicago White Sox have some go-go in them, too.
A.J. Pierzynski’s two-run homer capped a four-run rally in the ninth inning Saturday night, and the White Sox beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 on a night when the 1959 “Go-Go Sox” were honored. It was Chicago’s third straight win.
“This team doesn’t quit, that’s one thing I can definitely say,” Pierzynski said. “As soon as the ninth came, we said, `Find a way.’ That’s just the way we believe. We believe this team can do it. That’s a good feeling to have.”
Carl Everett and Aaron Rowand had full-count, RBI singles in the ninth off Dodgers closer Yhency Brazoban, who is filling in for injured Eric Gagne. The loss was a season-high fifth straight for Los Angeles, and it spoiled an impressive return by Elmer Dessens.
Dessens, who hadn’t pitched since April 19 because of a bone spur in his right shoulder, gave up only an unearned run and two hits in six innings, striking out four and walking one. Duaner Sanchez pitched two scoreless innings to preserve the lead.
“You can’t ask those two guys to pitch any better than they did, especially Dessens and the job that he did,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said.
But Brazoban (2-2) couldn’t hold the lead, blowing his third save in 14 chances.
Tadahito Iguchi started the rally with a leadoff walk, advanced to second on Frank Thomas’ groundout and scored on Everett’s two-out single to right. Everett was replaced by pinch-runner Willie Harris, who quickly stole second.
Rowand worked Brazoban to a full count before hitting a bouncer up the middle that scored Harris and tied the game at 3.
“We’ve been in that situation before quite a few times, in the late innings with the game on the line,” Rowand said. “When you have that repetition, you tend not to get nervous.”
That brought up Pierzynski, who was mired in a 1-for-20 slump.
“Pierzynski was crying like a little baby before he got that hit,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “This kid’s got a tendency to let down on himself. Every time he (doesn’t) get a hit, he’s moaning and moping and crying. I said, ‘Quit crying and just hit the ball.”’
Pierzynski also worked Brazoban to a full count, and it looked as if the game might be headed to extra innings when he popped up near first base. But the ball was just out of Hee-Seop Choi’s reach, giving Pierzynski another chance.
He didn’t disappoint, homering to left-center for his 10th of the year. His teammates poured out of the dugout to mob him at home plate while the crowd of 36,067 gave him a standing ovation.
“It was one hit,” he said, “but it was a big hit.”
Cliff Politte (4-0) got the victory with a scoreless inning.
This weekend’s series with the Dodgers is the first between the teams in Chicago since the 1959 World Series, so the White Sox had “Turn Back the Clock” night. Eleven members of the “Go-Go” team were honored before the game, and both teams broke out their 1959 uniforms—not that you could tell with the Dodgers.
The White Sox wouldn’t mind carrying on the festivities a little longer, say all the way to October.
“We’ve got a special group of guys here,” Rowand said. “It’s something special this season.”
They didn’t look very special early Saturday. While Dessens retired his first six batters, Garcia gave up a season-high four walks in the first inning alone.
After walking leadoff hitter Antonio Perez on four pitches, he gave up a two-out homer to Jeff Kent to give Los Angeles a 2-0 lead. Garcia walked the next three batters, loading the bases, but escaped when Mike Edwards popped up. He worked out of another bases-loaded jam in the fourth before finally settling down, retiring 11 of his last 12 batters.
“They got the runs they needed to win the game off our closer, but if you go back and look at the first inning and the fourth inning … we had the bases loaded … and came away with nothing,” Tracy said. “Instead of having a multiple-run lead, we have a two-run lead.
“That’s not an excuse to not get the job done,” Tracy added, “but you do create an opportunity for yourself to make the job a little easier and we didn’t do that.”
Pierzynski is one homer shy of tying his career high, set in 2003 and 2004. … Dodgers CF J.D. Drew made a dazzling catch in the sixth inning, running full speed with his back to the plate to rob Scott Podsednik of a hit. … Chicago’s Paul Konerko went 0-for-4, snapping his season-high 13-game hitting streak.