CHICAGO (AP)—Coming home after a disappointing 3-8 road trip that made their playoff chances remote at best, the Chicago White Sox responded with one of their most potent offensive displays of the season.
“Unpredictable ball club. We have not had too many games like that all year long,” said Ozzie Guillen, who earned his 500th win as manager of the White Sox.
“You can go into the seventh and eighth and relax a little bit and enjoy the game. And you don’t have to think much.”
The White Sox batted around in the third and fourth innings, scoring five runs in each, to take a 12-1 lead. Chicago had 16 hits by the end of the fourth.
“I just try to be a sparkplug, get on base and create havoc. That’s my goal,” he said.
“He (Beckham) is getting a lot of attention. But I’d rather be under the radar. He’s having so much success and geez I got to have some success, too. Maybe it kick started me a little.”
Freddy Garcia(notes) (1-2), in his fourth start since rejoining the rotation last month, allowed seven hits and a run over six innings as the White Sox won their third straight. It was Garcia’s first win since Sept. 17 of last season, when he beat Texas while pitching for Detroit.
Paul Byrd(notes) (1-1) was driven out after 2 1-3 innings in his second start for Boston. The veteran right-hander gave up seven runs and 10 hits, including Kotsay’s two-run homer in the second that opened the scoring.
Byrd had thrown six shutout innings against Toronto in his first start five days ago.
“Quite a difference, huh? It is tough,” Byrd said.
“I don’t want to put this team in that situation. I want us to be in the game when I’m on the mound. This is totally unacceptable for me. I shoulder the blame, I dropped the ball here.”
The loss narrowed Boston’s lead in the AL wild card to two games over Texas, which beat Baltimore 5-1 Friday night. After the Red Sox batted in the fifth and with his team trailing by 11, manager Terry Francona emptied his bench, making seven changes in the lineup.
“It didn’t look like he (Byrd) was real crisp. There were balls all over the field. Some weren’t hit hard, a lot were hit hard,” Francona said. “It was one of those nights where everything they did went right. Not a lot went right for us.”
Kotsay, who started the season on the disabled list while recovering from back surgery, was designated for assignment by the Red Sox on July 24 and then traded to the White Sox four days later for Brian Anderson(notes). His homer was his second of the season—he hit one for Boston on June 7.
Beckham’s leadoff triple in the fourth on a drive to center and A.J. Pierzynski’s(notes) RBI single made it 3-0 in the third. After Paul Konerko(notes) doubled, Kotsay delivered again with a soft RBI single to left.
Guillen said he was honored to reach 500 victories in this his sixth season as manager, thanking his players for the opportunity.
“I hope I sit here one year and talk about my 2,000th,” he said. And then quickly he added: “I ain’t going to manage that long.”
Notes: Jermaine Dye(notes) of the White Sox has a tight back and didn’t play. … Byrd is now 4-2 in seven career starts at U.S. Cellular Field. … Garcia ran his overall career record against Boston to 7-2.