White Sox 5, Rangers 0
CHICAGO (AP)—First, Ozzie Guillen threw a towel. Later, he slammed a water bottle.
“This guy (Padilla) is the nastiest pitcher in the league and all of a sudden, he hits someone,” Guillen said. “I was upset also because Garland … missed it. I expect him to do a better job.”
Garland pitched 8 1-3 shutout innings, and the White Sox snapped a four-game losing streak and avoided a sweep.
But the ill will between Chicago and Vicente Padilla resurfaced after Texas’ starter hit Alex Cintron in the third inning. Garland responded by throwing the first two pitches of the fourth behind Kinsler.
The White Sox managed just five hits, but they moved runners. Ross Gload had two sacrifice bunts that led to runs. And Tadahito Iguchi delivered the big blow with two out in the fifth, when he followed Scott Podsednik’s second RBI grounder with his 11th homer to extend Chicago’s lead to 4-0. Podsednik led off the eighth with a homer off Joaquin Benoit.
That was enough for Garland (10-3), who won his sixth straight decision. He gave up six hits, struck out three and walked one. Garland left to a standing ovation with runners on first and second in the ninth before Matt Thornton got the final two outs.
“We’re entertainers,” Garland said. “They to see us get a win. It doesn’t always happen. I wish I could do it every time out. It’s nice to see them come out and support us. Hopefully, nobody’s giving up on us.”
With seven losses in the previous eight games, the White Sox trailed Detroit by 6 1/2 and were just three ahead of Minnesota in the AL Central. And their lead over New York for the wildcard was just 1 1/2 entering Sunday’s game.
Padilla, 5-1 in his previous eight starts, allowed four runs (one earned), struck out eight and walked one in seven innings. And he was embroiled in another controversy with Chicago.
Padilla (10-6) hit A.J. Pierzynski in his first two at-bats on June 14, and Guillen was seen slamming a water bottle after reliever Sean Tracey got Hank Blalock on a grounder leading off the seventh. Agustin Montero then came in to pitch and Guillen yelled in the dugout, while Tracey sat with the collar of his jersey pulled over his head. A day later, the White Sox obtained reliever David Riske in a trade with Boston and sent Tracey—who has since been recalled—to Triple-A.
Guillen thought Padilla intentionally hit Pierzynski and promised before this series to retaliate if he “does something this time.”
This time, things became heated after Rob Mackowiak led off the third with an infield single. Padilla’s next pitch hit Cintron in the thigh, and an angry Guillen threw down a towel and took a step out of the dugout. After Ross Gload’s sacrifice, Podsednik drove in Mackowiak with a ground ball to second.
Kinsler knew what to expect leading off the top of the fourth: “I knew he was trying to hit me. That’s part of the game. That’s the way Ozzie likes to play the game.”
Both benches were warned. Kinsler walked, and Guillen slammed a water bottle.
“Unfortunately, Garland missed him a couple times,” Guillen said. “I’m not the guy who’s going to sit there and take my hitters being hit—and not do anything about it. It’s not fair for us. My players know I’m behind them 100 percent. When I talked to Jon about it, he was upset. He was cool. … After that happened, it was over with.”
Garland said, “We talked about it. Everything’s all right.”
The drama aside, Garland was dominant. And Padilla nearly matched him through four innings.
But after scoring seven runs the previous four games, the White Sox padded their lead in the fifth.
They had runners on first and second with none out after Kinsler booted Mackowiak’s grounder to second and Cintron singled. Mackowiak scored the game’s second run on Podsednik’s one-out grounder to short, and Iguchi drove an 0-1 pitch over the right-field wall for a 4-0 lead.
“Huge. Huge,” Podsednik said of the win. “This one, hopefully, will give us some momentum going into the next series.”
Rangers manager Buck Showalter missed Sunday’s game because of an irregular heartbeat brought on by dehydration and was expected to spend the night in the hospital. Bench coach Don Wakamatsu managed the Rangers. … The White Sox designated backup C Chris Widger for assignment after Sunday’s game— a move that surprised the veteran. Although he was batting just .184, Widger said he was told the main reason for the move was a lack of game preparation. “I thought this was home,” he said. “I thought I did a good job for these guys. It’s the first time I’ve ever been released (for reasons) I don’t get.” Widger has a .239 average and 55 homers in 11 seasons with Seattle, Montreal, the New York Yankees, St. Louis and Chicago. … The White Sox honored Hall of Fame double-play combination Nellie Fox and Luis Aparicio with life-sized bronze sculptures in the center-field concourse on Sunday. The statues show Fox flipping the ball toward Aparicio, who is waiting with outstretched arms and his right foot touching second base. They join club founder Charles Comiskey, Minnie Minoso and Carlton Fisk with sculptures.