Chicago Tadahito Iguchi nearly received the day off because of the heat. Luckily for the Chicago White Sox, manager Ozzie Guillen decided to let him play despite the temperature of 100 degrees at the start.
Iguchi homered and went 3-for-4 with three RBIs Sunday, and the White Sox beat the Boston Red Sox, 6-4, to split the four-game series with the defending World Series champs.
"I almost didn't play Iguchi today. I thought about giving him the day off because it's so hot, and he never played in weather like that," Guillen said.
"Somebody told me to just let him go out there and take a chance. He did a tremendous job."
Iguchi didn't realize he almost spent the day on the bench.
"Maybe I'll get a day off tomorrow," he said through a translator.
Iguchi lined a two-out, two-run homer just over the right-field fence after a double by Scott Podsednik to put the White Sox up 4-2 in the second against Bronson Arroyo (8-6). Ross Gload doubled in a run in the third for a three-run Chicago lead.
Iguchi recorded his third RBI in the seventh, singling in Podsednik, who had doubled to finish Arroyo.
"It was hot. Luckily, the wind was blowing a little, and that made it tolerable," said Podsednik, who also finished 3-for-4 with two doubles and a single.
Jose Contreras, used to the heat in his native Cuba, threw 116 pitches over 52â3 innings for the victory.
"It's not easy when it's 100 degrees down there. But Contreras is going to be the type of pitcher who throws a lot of pitches every game. That's the way he pitches," Guillen said.
With rumors and reports swirling that the White Sox are trying to acquire Florida's A.J. Burnett to stabilize their rotation, Contreras (6-6) allowed eight hits and three runs, walking two and striking out six. He entered the game with a career 1-4 record and 13.50 ERA against the Red Sox.
David Ortiz and Jason Varitek homered for Boston, which had the tying run on in the ninth and ended up stranding 11 runners.
Damaso Marte walked two in the ninth and was replaced with one out by Dustin Hermanson, who allowed an RBI single to Manny Ramirez to make it 6-4. But Hermanson enticed Trot Nixon to fly out and John Olerud to ground to second with two men on to earn his 23rd save in 24 chances.
Athletics 8, Rangers 3
Arlington, Texas - Scott Hatteberg drove in three runs, and the streaking A's finished a four-game sweep of the Rangers.
Bobby Crosby and Mark Ellis each had three hits to help the A's extend their winning streak to six.
Rich Harden (8-4) allowed three runs and five hits in 51â3 innings, striking out five and walking four. The right-hander threw 111 pitches in temperatures that reached the mid-90s.
Yankees 4, Angels 1
Anaheim, Calif. - Mike Mussina shut down the Angels, Hideki Matsui hit a two-run homer, and New York avoided a four-game sweep.
Mussina (10-5) held the Angels to one run and seven hits in 61â3 innings as the Yankees completed a 6-5 road trip to Boston, Texas and Los Angeles.
Mariano Rivera recorded five outs for his 25th save in a row. He has saved each of New York's last eight victories.
Tigers 5, Twins 2
Detroit - Jeremy Bonderman pitched into the ninth inning for his 13th win, and Curtis Granderson homered and tripled to lift Detroit.
Carlos Guillen also connected, and Magglio Ordonez added three hits for the Tigers (49-49), who have reached .500 by winning 12 of 18. Minnesota has lost 11 of 18.
Bonderman (13-6) is second in the AL in wins, trailing only 15-game winner Jon Garland.
Devil Rays 6, Orioles 2
St. Petersburg, Fla. - Casey Fossum took a three-hitter into the seventh inning, and Carl Crawford hit a two-run homer in the eighth.
Jorge Cantu had an RBI double, and Toby Hall snapped a fourth-inning tie with a run-scoring single off Erik Bedard (5-2) to help Fossum overcome solo homers by Sammy Sosa and Sal Fasano.
Sosa's shot was his 585th, moving him within one of Frank Robinson for fifth on the career list.
Indians 6, Mariners 3
Cleveland - Kevin Millwood won for the first time in five July starts, and Victor Martinez hit a three-run homer.
Martinez had three hits. His 11th homer, off reliever J.J. Putz in the seventh inning, gave Millwood more runs with one swing than the Indians have averaged in the right-hander's 18 starts.
Millwood (4-9) snapped his four-game losing streak.