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Archive for Monday, July 11, 2005

Athletics still own White Sox

Emerging sluggers lift Oakland to three-game sweep

July 11, 2005

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— After a terrible start, Dan Johnson and the rest of his Oakland teammates can't complain about the way they finished the first half.

Nick Swisher hit an RBI double in the 11th inning, and the Athletics beat the Chicago White Sox, 9-8, Sunday, completing a three-game sweep of the team with the majors' best record.

Swisher also homered, and Johnson hit a solo homer and a two-run double for the A's, who finished the season series against the White Sox with a 7-2 record and have won 13 of their last 16 games overall. They also moved one game over .500 for the first time since May 1, when they were 13-12.

The A's were 15 games under .500 on May 29.

"We had such a slow start in May. We get above .500 going into the All-Star break," Johnson said. "Taking this momentum going into the second half, we have our division coming up. We need some momentum going into those series."

Carl Everett and Paul Konerko homered for the White Sox, who took a 57-29 record into the All-Star break, but were swept in a three-game series for the first time this season. Konerko set a career high with five hits.

"It was a really disappointing weekend, but there is nothing you can do about it," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "One of the best things we've done all year, every time we got a losing streak, we bounced back and played pretty good baseball. I expect the same thing when we come back in a couple of days."

Luis Vizcaino (3-3) walked Eric Chavez to start the 11th and gave up an infield single to Johnson. Bobby Kielty moved both runners up with a sacrifice bunt, and Swisher followed with a double to right-center to score Chavez. Johnson was thrown out at that plate on Willie Harris' relay throw.


Oakland's Dan Johnson, center, is greeted by teammates after he hit a solo home run against Chicago White Sox pitcher Freddy Garcia. The A's lost the lead, but rallied for a 9-8, 11-inning victory Sunday in Chicago, completing a three-game sweep of the White Sox.

Oakland's Dan Johnson, center, is greeted by teammates after he hit a solo home run against Chicago White Sox pitcher Freddy Garcia. The A's lost the lead, but rallied for a 9-8, 11-inning victory Sunday in Chicago, completing a three-game sweep of the White Sox.

"We kind of figured something out," said Chavez, who also got off to a slow start. "I think the pitchers have confidence, and the hitters are scoring runs. The first two months, we weren't really doing that. Right now, we're just playing well and have to keep it going."

Huston Street (3-1) got his fourth blown save of the season, but shut out the White Sox in the 10th and 11th. He threw a career-high 31â3 innings.

"He was out there throwing as hard as he ever was. I don't know how many times he's been out there for three innings," Oakland manager Ken Macha said.

"It just shows you what he's made of. He didn't get down. They hit a home run off him, he stayed within himself, came back and got the job done. We got the win, and he did what he was supposed to do."

Rangers 9, Blue Jays 8

Arlington, Texas - Mark Teixeira hit his AL-leading 25th homer, and Mark DeRosa had a two-run shot in a four-run eighth inning as Texas completed a three-game sweep. Hank Blalock had three RBIs for the Rangers. Kameron Loe (3-1) pitched a hitless eighth for the victory.

Gregg Zaun had three hits for the Blue Jays, who have lost 10 of their last 13 games in Arlington.

Orioles 4, Red Sox 1

Baltimore - Rafael Palmeiro and Jay Gibbons hit solo home runs to back a strong pitching performance by Rodrigo Lopez, leading Baltimore.

Palmeiro's homer off knuckleballer Tim Wakefield (8-7) was his third in three games. Palmeiro also hit a sacrifice fly, and his 1-for-3 afternoon left him two hits short of becoming the fourth player in baseball history to have 3,000 hits and 500 home runs.

Lopez (8-5) improved to 10-4 against the Red Sox. B.J. Ryan worked the ninth for his 19th save.

Tigers 9, Devil Rays 4

St. Petersburg, Fla. - Magglio Ordonez drove in three runs, and Dmitri Young hit a two-run homer to lead Detroit.

Mike Maroth (7-9) allowed four runs and 10 hits in 51â3 innings. The Tigers have won five of six, reaching the All-Star break at 42-44.

Tampa Bay starter Mark Hendrickson (3-6) allowed six runs and eight hits in 22â3 innings.

Yankees 9, Indians 4

New York - Jason Giambi hit a two-run homer, and Ruben Sierra drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single to lift New York to its seventh win in eight games. Randy Johnson (9-6) struggled through six unremarkable innings, but the Yankees improved to a season-high six games over .500 for the third time behind Giambi's 10th homer of the season - fifth in six games - Gary Sheffield's late three-run homer and Cleveland starter Jake Westbrook's wildness.

Mariners 7, Angels 4

Anaheim, Calif. - Miguel Olivo and Richie Sexson hit two-run homers in a five-run fourth, and Seattle completed an improbable four-game sweep of the AL West leaders.

Gil Meche (9-6) earned the victory, and Eddie Guardado, the fifth Seattle pitcher, worked the ninth to convert his 20th straight save opportunity and 21st in 22 chances.

The Mariners went ahead for good with their third five-run inning of the series, beating rookie Ervin Santana (3-4).

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