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CHICAGO (AP)—Lightning lit the sky like a flashbulb and thunder cracked overhead. Puddles covered the infield. Gripping the ball was all but impossible.
There was trouble all over the place, but Freddy Garcia hung on.
“I was desperate,” Garcia said.
He took a shutout into the fifth before running into trouble. With rain pounding the field, Garcia walked four batters—two with the bases loaded— during a four-run rally that cut the lead to 6-4.
Garcia (2-1) allowed an RBI single to Russ Adams and walked Wells with the bases loaded to force in a second run with none out. After Troy Glaus struck out, Lyle Overbay walked to make it 6-3. Shea Hillenbrand flied to right, but a ground ball by Bengie Molina splashed under second baseman Tadahito Iguchi’s glove for an error that allowed Frank Catalanotto to score.
Garcia then struck out Eric Hinske—who walked leading off the inning and scored—for the final out.
After a 50-minute delay, the umpires called the game.
“The park wasn’t in good condition to play,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “To wait that long wasn’t good. It was the right thing to call the game.”
But Glaus said the umpires should have called it sooner.
“There was standing water on the field, there was standing water in the batters box,” Glaus said. “It was everywhere. I don’t think anybody should have been out there that inning.”
All Garcia wanted to do was head for cover. But he couldn’t until he retired Hinske.
“People don’t know how tough it is to be out there when it’s raining that hard,” said Garcia, who tied a career high with six walks.
It wasn’t easy on the other players, either.
A frustrated Garcia gestured toward Iguchi after his error. But third baseman Joe Crede felt for Iguchi.
“During the fifth inning, that was not a playable surface,” Crede said.
Dye hit a two-run homer in the first, and Thome added a two-run shot in the second for his seventh home run, equaling his total from last season with Philadelphia.
Podsednik tripled, singled and scored two runs after starting the season 3-for-38 and stole his first base.
Toronto’s Vernon Wells singled in the third to extend his hitting streak to 12 this season and 13 dating to last year.
The game was delayed 42 minutes by rain with one out in the top of the third. By then, the White Sox had built a 5-0 lead against Josh Towers. A 13-game winner last season, Towers (0-3) allowed seven hits, including two homers, in two innings.
“I’m just trying to out think myself, I think,” Towers said. “Then, when you do fall behind and you’re not locating the ball well enough, it’s always good news for the hitters. I’m frustrated right now.”
Podsednik tripled into the right-field corner in the first and scored on Iguchi’s single to center. After a strikeout by Thome and pop out by Paul Konerko, Dye lined his second homer over the left-field wall for a 3-0 lead.
The White Sox struck again in the second.
Podsednik started it with a one-out single. Second in the AL with 59 steals last season, he swiped second base on his first attempt of the season and moved to third on Towers’ balk. With two out, Thome homered to right to make it 5-0. He also singled and scored in the fourth.
Acquired for Aaron Rowand in November, Thome looks healthy after being limited to 59 games by back and elbow problems last season. The slugger has scored at least one run in each of the first 11 games—the longest streak to open the season by a major leaguer since former White Sox star Frank Thomas scored at least one in the first 14 games of 1994.
“When you are hurt, you really just don’t know,” Thome said. “You just don’t know: Are you still going to be the same? You definitely, definitely, want to make a good start, especially on a new club.”
Wells is batting .420. … Blue Jays RHP Roy Halladay threw in the bullpen Sunday and felt fine after missing Saturday’s start with a sore forearm, manager John Gibbons said. He is scheduled to throw again on Wednesday and pitch Saturday against Boston. The 2003 AL Cy Young Award winner is 1-1 with a 4.20 ERA in two starts. … White Sox shortstop Juan Uribe missed his fourth game with a sore left side, but manager Ozzie Guillen expects him to be available Monday against Kansas City. … Upon further review, Guillen was even more impressed with Iguchi’s play on Benji Molina’s slow bouncer over the mound in the ninth inning on Saturday. “When you’re sitting in the dugout, you don’t appreciate it,” Guillen said. “But when you see it on the replay … I think that’s one of the best plays I’ve ever seen by any infielder.” With a runner on and one out, Iguchi raced in and as he was falling down, threw out Molina at first.