White Sox 6, Angels 3
Garland finally ended his drought, giving up three runs and eight hits over seven-plus innings Saturday in a 6-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels.
“I want to win every game I start,” the right-hander said after helping end Chicago’s five-game losing streak. “It took a little bit longer that expected, but it was nice to get that win.”
Garland (1-2) made his sixth start of the year. He lost to the Angels 3-0 in his previous outing and entered the game with a respectable 3.93 ERA.
“I didn’t even realize he had no wins because he’s been pitching so well. And at this point, we needed it because we lost five games in a row,” shortstop Alex Cintron said.
“He came in here today and showed what kind of pitcher he is. That’s what you want from your No.1 and No.2 starter, for them to go deep in the game and give you a chance to win. And he’s been doing that all year. The last two years he’s been one of the best pitchers in the game.”
Bobby Jenks, the fourth Chicago pitcher, worked a perfect ninth for his ninth save in 10 attempts.
After squandering an early 3-0 lead, the White Sox went ahead in the sixth against John Lackey (4-3). A.J. Pierzynski doubled just inside the left-field line and Joe Crede’s two-out single made it 4-3. It was the ninth RBI for Crede, who had a career-high 94 last season.
Lackey allowed four runs and eight hits over eight innings, striking out eight and walking two.
“It was definitely nice to go out there with the lead and see the guys come out in the first two innings and put up some runs against a good pitcher,” Garland said. “That’s a big boost of confidence right there.”
The Angels, who outscored the White Sox 16-3 over the previous three meetings, failed to hit a ball out of the infield through the first three innings against Garland.
Reggie Willits singled in the fourth for the Angels’ first hit and scored on Orlando Cabrera’s opposite-field double. Gary Matthews Jr. singled and Vladimir Guerrero followed with a sacrifice fly, his 30th RBI in 29 games this season.
The Angels tied it in the fifth with an RBI double by Chone Figgins, his second hit in 16 at-bats since coming off the disabled list.
Darin Esrtad, who caught the final out of Lackey’s Game 7 World Series victory over San Francisco in 2002, lined the right-hander’s first pitch of the game for a single. Pablo Ozuna grounded into a force play and stole second, ending a 10-game stretch in which the White Sox didn’t even attempt a stolen base.
Paul Konerko then had an RBI single, ending a string of 46 innings in which Chicago hadn’t scored a run without the benefit of a homer.
Chicago added a pair in the second. Cintron hit an RBI double and made it to third when Lackey’s attempted pickoff throw struck him on the right biceps. Erstad singled again off Lackey for a 3-0 lead.
“John’s one of my best friends and we’ve been through a lot together,” Erstad said. “But once you get out there, it’s competition.”
Angels manager Mike Scioscia, who broke Bill Rigney’s franchise record for wins on Friday night, went to the mound after Erstad’s second hit to talk to Lackey instead of sending pitching coach Mike Butcher. Lackey didn’t allow another hit until Pierzynski’s sixth-inning double.
“I just told him to make pitches,” Scioscia said. “He was doing a good job. Some balls found some seams on him. He put some guys on base early, but I thought he really settled down after 25-30 pitches. He kept us in the game. We just couldn’t get enough going (offensively).”
Erstad is 9-for-19 with five RBIs in his first five games against his former team. He got another RBI in the ninth when reliever Darren Oliver misplayed his slow bouncer with runners at second and third.
Garland is 12-2 with a 3.23 ERA in his last 17 starts on the road. … Garland had the best winning percentage in day games last season, going 8-0 in 10 starts. … Erstad recorded one of the easiest of his 175 career stolen bases in the seventh inning. Neither Cabrera nor 2B Erick Aybar left their position to take C Jose Molina’s perfect throw over the bag, and Erstad made it to third as the ball rolled into center field. Aybar was charged with an error because a right-handed hitter (Ozuna) was batting.