Archive for Monday, September 8, 2003

ChiSox complete sweep

Thomas tames Tribe; Twins visit Chicago tonight

September 8, 2003


— Frank Thomas wasn't about to let a little slump hold him back.

Thomas, in an 0-for-11 slide, came to plate in the seventh with two out, two on and the White Sox trailing Cleveland by a run. He hit the first pitch from reliever Danys Baez into the seats in left field, and the White Sox went on to win, 7-3, Sunday.

"All season I've had my little stretches where I've struggled, and I've come out swinging every time," Thomas said. "That was my whole mind-set. I was not looking for a little single, I was looking to smoke the baseball."

Chicago swept the three-game series and is 10 games over .500 for the first time this season. The White Sox remain tied with Minnesota for first in the AL Central and will play host to the Twins for four games starting today.

"Frank is a big key for us," Chicago manager Jerry Manuel said. "When he goes and gets those big hits, the other guys feed off it. And I think it takes some pressure off some guys."

Dan Wright and five Chicago relievers held down the Indians, who have dropped six straight.

Scott Schoeneweis (3-2) recorded two outs for the win. Damaso Marte pitched a scoreless eighth and Tom Gordon a scoreless ninth for Chicago.

The White Sox tied it in the sixth on an RBI single by Magglio Ordonez and a sacrifice fly by Carlos Lee that scored Thomas.

Cliff Lee gave up just three hits over the first 51/3 innings and didn't allow a runner past second. He was removed for Baez after Ordonez's single.

Chicago's Frank Thomas acknowledges the fans after blasting a
three-run homer in the seventh inning. The Sox, who beat Cleveland,
7-3, Sunday, will play host to Minnesota tonight.

Chicago's Frank Thomas acknowledges the fans after blasting a three-run homer in the seventh inning. The Sox, who beat Cleveland, 7-3, Sunday, will play host to Minnesota tonight.

Lee allowed two runs and four hits, walking four and striking out four.

Cleveland went ahead again in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Jhonny Peralta, but Thomas followed with his 39th homer.

Chicago added two more runs in the eighth on a two-run homer by Paul Konerko off reliever Dave Lee. Wright went five innings, giving up two runs on five hits.

Twins 5, Rangers 4 (10)

Minneapolis -- This late in the season, even game-winning celebrations can be exhausting.

Torii Hunter's 10th-inning sacrifice fly gave Minnesota a victory over Texas, but after the game, the Twins weren't expending much energy congratulating each other.

"I breathed a sigh of relief," Doug Mientkiewicz said. "We're all too beat up to go punching on each other."

The Twins have won five straight and 10 of their last 13 as they kept pace with the White Sox.

"It was a good win for us," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Now we get to go on and have some fun in Chi-town. We're just going to go play some baseball, do some work and get ready to take some swings at them and see what happens. It ought to be a lot of fun."

Mientkiewicz led off the 10th with a walk against Francisco Cordero (4-7).

After Matthew LeCroy singled, third baseman Hank Blalock fielded Jacque Jones' bunt and tried to force Mientkiewicz at third.

But umpire Chuck Meriwether ruled that his throw pulled shortstop Alex Rodriguez off the base, and all runners were safe.

"Chuck is a human being. He can make a mistake," Rodriguez said. "He said the throw pulled me off, but it was obvious on the video it didn't."

Hunter hit the game-winning sacrifice fly to right field on Cordero's next pitch, and Mientkiewicz scored easily as Laynce Nix's throw was up the third-base line.

"I was looking for a certain pitch," Hunter said. "I sat on a slider and tried to take it the other way, and it worked out, just like that. I just wanted to get it in the air and get it to right field."

Yankees 3, Red Sox 1

New York -- David Wells took a shutout into the eighth inning, and Bernie Williams broke a scoreless tie in the seventh with his first home run since mid-August.

Wells (13-6) sparkled for 71/3 innings, and he needed to the way Jeff Suppan (1-2) was pitching for the Red Sox. New York's sputtering offense forced Boston's outfield to handle just four balls in the first six innings -- Derek Jeter's single in the fourth and three weak flyouts.

Devil Rays 11, Athletics 2

St. Petersburg, Fla. -- Victor Zambrano pitched his first career complete game, and Tampa Bay roughed up Barry Zito.

Zambrano (10-8) gave up nine hits, walked none and struck out eight in his 35th major-league start. He became just the fourth Tampa Bay pitcher ever to win 10 or more games in a season.

Zito (11-12), the 2002 AL Cy Young winner, was tagged for seven runs and six hits over 51/3 innings.

Blue Jays 8, Tigers 0

Toronto -- Frank Catalanotto homered twice and Josh Towers pitched seven scoreless innings.

The Blue Jays, who swept the three-game series, shut out Detroit for the second straight game. The Tigers haven't scored a run in 22 innings and have been blanked an AL-high 15 times this season.

Towers (5-1) allowed just four hits, while striking out five and walking none.

Chris Mears (0-2) got the loss.

Orioles 2, Mariners 1

Baltimore -- Pat Hentgen allowed five hits in eight innings, and Brian Roberts kept up his assault on Seattle pitching as Baltimore beat the Mariners.

Roberts went 2-for-4 and capped a two-run third inning against Freddy Garcia with an RBI single.

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