CHICAGO (AP)—Vladimir Guerrero raced around third and headed for home with a piece of daring baserunning right out of the movies.
Guerrero doubled and scored the go-ahead run on a heads-up baserunning play reminiscent of the movie “Major League” in the 12th inning to give the Los Angeles Angels a 6-5 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night.
“This kid is the best player in baseball, to me,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “He’s always going to be running and he’s always going to make something happen. That’s why he gets paid a lot of money.”
The victory kept the Angels’ lead in the AL West at one game over Oakland.
Guerrero led off the 12th with a double off the wall in left-center off Dustin Hermanson (1-3). Guerrero was slow out of the box and needed to slide to get into second. He quickly made up for it.
Bengie Molina then bunted down the third-base line, and while Geoff Blum was throwing to Tadahito Iguchi for the out at first, Guerrero kept running. Iguchi’s throw home was off-line and Guerrero slid around catcher A.J. Pierzynski’s tag.
“It’s an aggressive baserunning play,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “I don’t think it’s one we’re going to design unless you’re Willie Mays Hayes.”
Hayes was the speedy center fielder played by actor Wesley Snipes who scored the same way for a fictional Cleveland Indians team in the movie.
“You look back at the last 150 years of baseball and you can probably count on one hand how many times that play has worked,” Blum said. “So you can call it luck, you can call it savvy, you can call it whatever you want.”
Iguchi had an awful night all-around, going 0-for-5 with four strikeouts. He said first baseman Ross Gload was in the way of his throw home, probably blocking Pierzynski’s view of the throw as well.
Guerrero didn’t even look for a sign as he ran toward third.
“I never got to the yes part,” third base coach Ron Roenicke said. “I was ‘No, no, no.’ I didn’t hold my hands up but I said ‘no’ a couple of times. When his mind was made up to go, he got going in a hurry.”
Chicago’s Bobby Jenks struck out five in three innings against the team that picked him in the fifth round of the amateur draft in 2000 and put him on waivers this past winter. He has a 2.00 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 28 innings since getting recalled from the minors on July 5.
Konerko gave the White Sox a brief 5-4 lead on his solo homer to left with two outs in the fifth. The 401-foot blast was his 37th this season and his 200th with Chicago. Konerko added two doubles.
The Angels tied it in the sixth on Robb Quinlan’s homer to right, his fourth of the season.
Chicago scored four runs in the fourth to take a 4-2 lead. Konerko doubled and Rowand walked, both scoring on Dye’s triple off the wall in right field. Dye scored on a groundout and Uribe followed with his 13th homer.
Buehrle lasted six innings, throwing just 85 pitches. He gave up five runs on 10 hits, walking one and striking out two.
Jarrod Washburn gave up seven hits, including two homers, and five runs in his five innings. He struck out three and walked one.
Bartolo Colon (18-6) is set to start Saturday’s game against Jon Garland (17-8). He was questionable because of tightness in his lower back. … Frank Thomas visited the White Sox clubhouse before the game with a walking cast on his fractured left foot. He said he wasn’t sure whether he would have surgery on the foot yet. … The White Sox wore green hats and white uniforms with green pinstripes, letters and numbers for a halfway St. Patrick’s Day promotion. … Konerko has 207 lifetime homers, with seven coming when he was on the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds. … Jenks struck out Garret Anderson with a 100 mph fastball and Guerrero on a 70 mph breaking pitch in his first inning. … Figgins stole his 49th base in the 11th. He is second to Scott Podsednik (56) in the AL. … The White Sox are 30-16 in one-run games, still the best in baseball.