Vizquel’s RBI single helps Chisox beat Angels

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—Add another key hit to Omar Vizquel’s(notes) resume.

Juan Pierre(notes) tripled home the tying run and scored on Vizquel’s single in the seventh inning, leading the Chicago White Sox over the Los Angels 4-3 Sunday.

The White Sox have beaten the Angels seven straight times, their longest winning streak against them since a 10-game stretch in 1983-84.

“Omar’s like fine wine. He just gets better with age,” Pierre said. “He’s fun to be around, he’s always professional and he always comes to play every day. It’s great just to watch his demeanor and composure, even more than him talking about the game.”

“I think he could play another five years if he wanted to. I think people take him for granted, but he’s gotten big hits all year for us,” he said.

Vizquel, an 11-time Gold Glove winner at shortstop in his 22 seasons, has been used mostly at third base this season due to the presence of shortstop Alexei Ramirez(notes). Vizquel is hitting .323 over his last 60 games, raising his average from .237 to a more respectable .288 in 103 games.

“For a guy that is 43 years old, it’s turned out to be a great season for me,” Vizquel said. “I’m pretty satisfied about the season I’ve had, especially after I saw that I wasn’t going to have the chance to play too much. I came here with the mindset that I was going to be the utility guy and maybe play twice a week. But it turned out to be a big surprise for everybody—especially for myself. I’ve been given the chance to play a lot and things have gone good for me.”

Angels starter Jered Weaver(notes) (13-12) struck out nine and took over the major league strikeout lead with 229, two more than Seattle’s Felix Hernandez(notes).

Weaver finished his home slate for 2010 with a 1.86 ERA in 16 starts, and was not charged with more than three earned runs in any of them. The fans remaining from the crowd of 42,686 gave him a standing ovation when he returned to the dugout for the final time this year. But under the circumstances, he chose not to tip his cap.

“They’ve been supportive of me the whole season and they’ve showed our team support, even in a down year, so I wanted to tip my cap to them and show them my appreciation, obviously,” Weaver said. “But I didn’t want to show up the other team. So as badly as I wanted to, the game wasn’t in the right spot for me to be able to do that. I just wish it could have been a little different walking off the mound.”

Tony Pena(notes) (5-2) pitched six innings in his second big league start. He allowed three runs, all of them in the first inning.

Matt Thornton(notes) relieved Scott Linebrink(notes) after a leadoff single in the eighth and got six outs for his seventh save in nine tries.

Weaver (13-12) gave up three earned in 6 2-3 innings without walking a batter. His ERA went from 2.99 to 3.02 with one start remaining—no Angels starting pitcher has ended a season with at least 20 starts and an ERA under 3.00 since 1992, when Jim Abbott had a 2.77 mark.

Pierre singled, stole his major league-leading 61st base and scored on Carlos Quentin’s(notes) single in the sixth to get Chicago within 3-2.

Mark Teahen(notes) led off the White Sox seventh with a single, advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Alejandro De Aza(notes) and scored when right fielder Bobby Abreu(notes) took a bad route to Pierre’s two-out drive to the alley and the ball eluded his outstretched glove. Vizquel delivered Pierre with a single through the middle that chased Weaver.

The Angels took an early lead on Abreu’s RBI double and run-scoring singles by Torii Hunter(notes) and rookie Hank Conger(notes). Abreu’s hit made him the first player in history to record 40 doubles, 20 homers and 20 stolen bases five times in a career. No one else has done it more than three times.

Notes: Angels manager Mike Scioscia hasn’t contacted Texas manager Ron Washington yet to offer congratulations on Saturday’s AL West-clinching victory by the Rangers, but plans on doing it face-to-face when they begin a season-ending four-game set in Arlington next Thursday. “He’s done a terrific job, and they deserved it,” Scioscia said. “They certainly played better than us over the course of the season. They struggled during the last month, but we weren’t prepared to take advantage of it when the door was open. Otherwise, we’d be right in there. But that became a moot point, and that’s what’s disappointing. The guys in that room didn’t perform at a level that would have had us contending, so that’s kind of the fly in the ointment.” … Chicago LHP Mark Buehrle(notes) will attempt to end a drought of six straight winless starts Monday night in Chicago against Boston. His fifth out of that game will make him the only pitcher to record 200 innings, 10 wins and 30 starts in each of the last 10 seasons.

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