White Sox 8, Angels 5

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—This time, the Chicago White Sox didn’t need a complete game from a starting pitcher to beat the Los Angeles Angels. Their offense was more than enough.

Jermaine Dye hit a two-run homer, and Scott Podsednik and Tadahito Iguchi both added two RBIs, and the White Sox beat the Angels 8-5 on Friday night in their first meeting since the AL Championship Series.

Freddy Garcia (4-1) allowed three runs and four hits over six innings and struck out five, helping the defending World Series champions win for the 10th time in 12 games.

The White Sox beat the Angels in five games last October for their first pennant since 1959. After losing the opener, they got consecutive complete-game victories out of Mark Buehrle, Jon Garland, Garcia and Jose Contreras. Buehrle is the only one the Angels won’t see in this three-game series.

“It’s great when you don’t have to use your bullpen, because that means your starting rotation is doing a tremendous job,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “Like I was saying back in Chicago, don’t expect our guys to come in here and throw shutouts and complete games because the Angels are so good. But if we have to use our bullpen, we’ll use it.”

The victory was Garcia’s fourth straight and 103rd of his big league career, surpassing former White Sox lefty Wilson Alvarez for the most wins among pitchers born in Venezuela. On April 18, a record seven pitchers of Venezuelan decent started on the same day—and Garcia wasn’t one of them.

“It’s something he’s worked hard for and he’ll continue to win more games,” said Guillen, another native of Venezuela. “Before it was easy to get the record because there wasn’t that many Venezuelan pitchers. But now there are so many pitchers from our country like (Johan) Santana, (Carlos) Zambrano and (Kelvim) Escobar who are still young with good arms and have a chance to break Freddy’s record.”

Chicago staked Garcia to an 8-2 lead before the Angels chipped away at the White Sox bullpen—which they didn’t see at all last October except for two-thirds of an inning by lefty Neal Cotts in Game 1.

Vladimir Guerrero, who was 1-for-20 against Chicago in the playoffs, sliced the deficit to 8-4 in the seventh with an RBI single against Brandon McCarthy. Garret Anderson followed with an RBI single against Cotts, who retired the next six batters before Bobby Jenks got the final out.

“They seem to be playing pretty good, so everyone in the American League has their work cut out for them,” Angels second baseman Adam Kennedy said. “It doesn’t really matter that we got to their bullpen. I mean, what’s the difference? Freddy didn’t have his great stuff tonight and he still battled through six innings.”

Guerrero, who drove in four runs, gave the two-time defending AL West champs the lead in the first with a two-run homer over the double-decker bullpen in left field.

But the White Sox responded with a five-run second against Jeff Weaver (1-3). The right-hander forced in the first run with a two-out walk to No. 9 hitter Brian Anderson, then gave up a two-run single by Podsednik and a two-run double by Iguchi that was played poorly at the left field fence by Garret Anderson.

“We’ve been great this year with two out and we’ve gotten a lot of clutch hits,” Guillen said. “Weaver was a little wild and couldn’t find the plate, so we were very patient with him and took advantage of it.”

Chicago extended the lead to 8-2 in the third with three runs and knocked out Weaver, who lasted just 2 1-3 innings in the shortest of his five starts with the Angels. He surrendered eight hits and two walks and was booed by the sellout crowd of 43,940.

“I deserved to be booed off the field,” Weaver said. “I got my butt kicked. What do you expect? They want us to win. We’re playing a key team to establish something, and I let the team down tonight, plain and simple. I fell behind to quite a few hitters and they made me pay. I’m sure I’ll be facing them again. So if I’m out there again, hopefully I’ll do a better job.”

Dye, the World Series MVP, hit his sixth homer after Paul Konerko was grazed by a pitch. A.J. Pierzynski singled and scored one out later on a triple by Juan Uribe that snapped an 0-for-15 drought.

Guerrero’s homer was his sixth of the season and first of his career against Garcia, who is 12-3 in 23 career starts against the Angels with a 2.73 ERA— his lowest against any AL team.


Alvarez, who retired at the end of last season, pitched a no-hitter in his first start with the White Sox back on Aug. 11, 1991 at Baltimore. No one has thrown one for them since. … Chicago DH Jim Thome struck out his first four times up, twice against RHP Kevin Gregg, who worked 3 2-3 scoreless innings in relief and fanned five. … Podsednik opened the game with a single, but was picked off first by catcher Jose Molina with Thome at the plate. Molina has picked off nine baserunners since the start of the 2004 season. … Garcia is 7-1 against the Angels in Anaheim.

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