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Archive for Friday, April 19, 2002

Lofton leads Sox sweep

April 19, 2002

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— Kenny Lofton delivered a message to the Cleveland Indians: Look what you gave up.

Lofton tormented his old team with his speed and this time with his power, and Todd Ritchie gained his first Chicago win as the White Sox beat the Indians, 7-1, Thursday night to complete a three-game sweep.

"I was playing against my old team for the first time, but after the first at-bat, it's just another game," a nonchalant Lofton said after going 2-for-4 with his first White Sox homer.

Lofton finished the three-game set 6-for-14 with six runs scored.

"He's the guy I've been most impressed with. He does so many things. He just disrupts the other team so much," said Ritchie, acquired in the offseason from Pittsburgh.

"You can't say enough about him, his effort, his intensity. He's been simply amazing," Chicago manager Jerry Manuel said.

The Indians, who came to Chicago riding a 10-game winning streak, were outscored 24-8 in the series. Chicago has won 8 of 9 with a healthy Lofton patrolling center and running the bases with abandon, just like in his peak with the Indians.

Lofton has a nine-game hitting streak and has reached base safely in all 15 of Chicago's games.

"There is nothing wrong with anything he does. He's the perfect leadoff hitter," said Chicago's Paul Konerko, who also homered off Bartolo Colon (3-1).

Lofton, who spent nine years with the Indians, batted a career-low .261 last season. The White Sox signed him as a free agent just before spring training.

"Kenny's off to a nice start and after that the whole lineup complements each other," Cleveland's Jim Thome said. "We were impressed with their offense. They got momentum early the whole series. That's what this game is about."

Ritchie (1-1) allowed six hits and one run in seven innings, for his first AL victory since he was a reliever with the Twins in 1997.

Athletics 4, Angels 2

Oakland, Calif. Carlos Pena hit a two-run homer and Erik Hiljus pitched seven strong innings to lead Oakland over Anaheim. Terrence Long and Jeremy Giambi also homered for the A's, who snapped a three-game losing streak Scott Spiezio homered for the Angels, who lost their second straight.

Yankees 8, Orioles 4

New York Shane Spencer hit a three-run homer that sent David Wells and New York over Baltimore. Benched recently after a slow start, Spencer returned to the starting lineup and reached base in all four plate appearances. Spencer's homer put the Yankees ahead 5-4 in the fourth inning. He also doubled and walked twice.

Devil Rays 6, Tigers 4

Detroit Former Tiger Chris Gomez homered and drove in four runs as Tampa Bay ended Detroit's two-game winning streak. After becoming the fifth team since 1900 to start a season 0-11, Detroit won the first two games of the series against Tampa Bay. But Gomez's two-run double in a four-run sixth helped Tampa Bay win the game.

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