Small-ball tactics paid off for the White Sox on Sunday night in their 4-3 comeback victory over the slumping Dodgers. Chicago rallied for two runs in the eighth inning for their fourth straight victory.
With Chicago trailing 3-2, Thomas led off the eighth with a pinch-hit walk and was replaced by pinch-runner Pablo Ozuna. Scott Podsednik reached first when catcher Jason Phillips was charged with a throwing error on Podsednik’s sacrifice bunt—though the Dodgers felt Jeff Kent had his foot on the base when he took the throw and that Podsednik should have been out.
Although Thomas is the White Sox’s career home run leader, Guillen said he was looking for something smaller.
“Frank is one of the best on-base percentage people in baseball in the last 14 years,” Guillen said. “A lot of people think I bring him out to hit home runs, but I bring him in to get on base.”
Podsednik, who leads the majors with 35 stolen bases, then forced Phillips to rush a throw that pulled Kent toward second base.
“We have some speed and it causes other teams to rush a little bit,” Rowand said. “Other teams make mistakes in the late innings because they have to rush on guys like Scotty.”
After Willie Harris bunted Ozuna and Podsednik to second and third, Rowand followed with a line single to left.
“I just try to go up and have good and bats no matter what situation presents itself,” Rowand said. “Whether I’m hitting third or seventh or first is going to dictate what I do at the plate.”
Rowand’s hit gave the White Sox their 21st comeback with season and a victory to Cliff Politte (5-0), who pitched a scoreless eighth. Dustin Hermanson pitched the ninth for his 16th save in 17 opportunities.
Sanchez allowed two runs—one earned—in the eighth, and the Dodgers’ bullpen blew its seventh save and wasted a strong start by Jeff Weaver.
Dodgers manager Jim Tracy, without injured closer Eric Gagne, said he needs to be patient with his juggled bullpen.
“There is a measure of uncertainty from the consistency standpoint,” Tracy said. “But that’s something you deal with young people. It’s not pointing a finger at anyone, that’s what the situation is.”
But Tracy added first-base umpire Larry Young might have made things more difficult for his team.
“Jeff Kent’s foot was on that base on the bunt,” Tracy said. “Obviously it wasn’t the greatest throw in the world, but his foot was on the base.”
Weaver pitched six innings, allowing two runs and five hits. He didn’t allow a run until the White Sox scored twice in the sixth, and he gave up only one hit through the first four innings.
Weaver didn’t return for the seventh after appearing to hurt his right ankle while making a wild pickoff throw in the sixth. Following a couple of warmup tosses, Weaver finished the sixth, allowing two runs on Willie Harris’ single and Paul Konerko’s groundout.
“I went to turn before by foot went out of a divot,” Weaver said. “I just caught the edge and twisted it.”
Tracy didn’t think Weaver was seriously injured and said he removed the right-hander because his pitch count was between 95 and 100.
Giovanni Carrara replaced Weaver and pitched a scoreless seventh.
Werth’s line single to right drove in Kent from third with one out in the fourth to give Los Angeles a 1-0 lead. Choi drove in a run with a groundout and Drew knocked in another with an infield single as the Dodgers extended their lead to 3-0 in the fifth.
Dodgers SS Cesar Izturis returned to the leadoff spot after missing four games with a strained right hamstring. He went 0-for-4 with a sacrifice bunt and has two hits in his last 42 at-bats. … The White Sox said before the game that they’ll place RHP starter Orlando Hernandez on the 15-day DL Monday to rest a tight shoulder. They’ll recall RHP Brandon McCarthy to start Monday against Kansas City. … The White Sox lead the interleague series with the Dodgers 5-1. … The White Sox’s bullpen allowed no runs in 3 1-3 innings in the series. The Dogders’ bullpen allowed eight runs—seven earned—in 6 2-3 innings.