White Sox 8, Red Sox 4
“It was pretty impressive what he was doing those first couple of innings. I just tried to go out there and match him. I just saw some of the swings some of our guys were taking. His ball was dancing,” Garland said.
“I just wanted to keep us in the game.”
Garland did just that Friday night against the Boston Red Sox and became the major league’s first 15-game winner.
“Wakefield is a guy you can’t explain until you stand in there and try and hit it. It’s amazing,” Pierzynski said.
“The ball moves one way or the other every time. And you just hope he makes a mistake and you can somehow hit it. I fouled off some tough ones and he made a mistake and luckily for me I hit it in the right spot and it got up and got out.
“I think I heard the whole crowd give a big sigh of relief. It was a really tense and a tight game.”
Garland (15-4) gave up two runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings, including Johnny Damon’s solo homer in the seventh, and pitched out of several jams as the White Sox snapped a three-game losing streak. They have not lost four in a row this season.
“I’ve always had it (confidence) in myself. There are a lot of people who don’t think it,” Garland said of reaching 15 victories after winning 12 in each of the previous three seasons.
“Things are coming together. I’m making the right pitch at the right time, getting runs when runs are needed and timely defense.”
“It got away in a hurry,” Boston manager Terry Francona said. “Pierzynski’s at-bat, we’re in a 1-1 game and Wakefield looked terrific. He fouled off some good pitches and finally got to one. Before you know it, they spread it out.”
Wakefield (8-9) surrendered nine hits and seven runs in 5 2-3 innings, losing his sixth straight start against the White Sox.
“I thought I threw a good pitch to Pierzynski, but it just found his barrel,” Wakefield said. “After that my job is to get another out and I wasn’t able to do that. The wheels just fell off for me in the sixth.”
Wakefield retired the first 10 batters before Rowand hit his second homer in as many nights to tie the game 1-1 in the fourth. Konerko, who had singled and moved to second on a walk, then tried to score on Crede’s single to left, but Manny Ramirez easily threw him out at the plate.
Boston had first and third and no outs in the fifth after singles by Bill Mueller and Tony Graffanino, but Garland pitched out of it, getting Damon and Edgar Renteria on popouts and then inducing a long fly to center from David Ortiz.
“Back-to-back, Damon and Renteria, he made two great pitches,” Francona said.
“I was going to concede a run to get two outs,” Garland said. “I made some good pitches and jammed some guys and popped them up and it worked out in my favor.”
The Red Sox also put runners at first and second with one out in the sixth before Garland fanned Doug Mirabelli and got Mueller to fly out to center.
The White Sox restored the lead to six in the seventh when Scott Podsednik singled, stole his major league-leading 50th base, went to third on catcher Mirabelli’s throwing error and scored on Rowand’s sacrifice fly.
Boston’s Adam Stern hit his first major league homer, a two-run shot, in the ninth.
White Sox RF Jermaine Dye was out of the lineup a second straight day, recovering from infected insect bites on his leg. … A beautiful 77-degree night is forecast to be followed by a searing heat wave. The projected temperature for Sunday’s series finale is 100. … Former Red Sox and White Sox catcher Carlton Fisk, a Hall of Famer, caught the ceremonial first pitch from Mr. T as part of a promotion. Fisk, who entered the Hall with a Boston cap, will have a statue honoring him unveiled next month at U.S. Cellular Field.