Chicago Jon Garland finally earned his elusive 17th victory. Now he says his next goal isn't reaching 20 wins, it's helping the Chicago White Sox make a final push to the playoffs.
"It's still a grind," Garland said Sunday after getting win No. 17 on his fifth try. "We still have to play Cleveland a few more times. As long as we continue to play the way we've played the last few days, everything will be fine."
Garland threw a four-hitter, and Paul Konerko homered, sending Chicago to a 2-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers and a sweep of their four-game series.
After going 12-16 in August, the White Sox are 4-0 in September.
"When one person starts it off, it all seems to roll from there," Garland said after Chicago outscored Detroit 29-6 in the series.
After losing three straight decisions, Garland (17-8) pitched his third complete game of the season - all shutouts. Winning for the first time since Aug. 7, he got two stellar defensive plays to keep the Tigers from scoring.
Garland, who started the season 8-0, walked one and struck out seven, including Chris Shelton with a runner at third to end the eighth right after manager Ozzie Guillen came to the mound and asked if he was OK.
"I was kind of worried about him leaving the ball around the plate and giving up a home run, and all of a sudden he'd lose everything he built for the whole game. He said he was fine, and I believe my pitchers," Guillen said
Garland outpitched Jeremy Bonderman (14-12), who lost his third consecutive start despite allowing five hits in his fourth complete game this season and the sixth of his career. He struck out six and walked one.
"That's the way it goes, man," Bonderman said. "What are you going to do? Can't sit here and cry about it."
Konerko's 33rd homer gave the White Sox a 2-0 lead in the fourth, right after two key defensive plays turned the Tigers away.
After center fielder Aaron Rowand made a nice, running catch of Shelton's long drive, Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Pena hit two-out singles in the fourth. But with runners at first and third, third baseman Pablo Ozuna made a diving stop of Craig Monroe's hard shot down the line before getting to his feet and throwing him out.
Red Sox 5, Orioles 1
Boston - David Wells pitched a complete game in his return from a six-game suspension, and John Olerud hit a three-run homer in a five-run fifth inning, leading Boston over Baltimore.
Wells (12-6) missed his regular turn after he lost his appeal of the suspension for arguing with umpires on July 2, but came back strong. He allowed seven hits with four strikeouts. For the seventh time in eight games, he issued no walks.
Twins 7, Indians 5
Minneapolis - Shannon Stewart drove in the go-ahead run with a sixth-inning single, and Mike Redmond delivered a three-run double in the seventh, leading Minnesota to its second straight victory over AL Central rival Cleveland.
Jesse Crain (10-4) pitched 12â3 innings for the win. Joe Nathan pitched the ninth, allowing Ben Broussard's homer, for his 35th save.
D-Rays 1, Blue Jays 0
Toronto - Scott Kazmir and two relievers combined on a four-hitter, leading Tampa Bay to its second straight victory after it had lost five in a row.
Toby Hall drove in the lone run with a sacrifice fly in the second.
Kazmir (8-9) allowed four hits, struck out nine and walked one in seven innings. Joe Borowski pitched the eighth, and Danys Baez finished for his 33rd save in 40 chances.
Angels 5, Mariners 3
Anaheim, Calif. - Vladimir Guerrero hit a two-run homer, and Bartolo Colon earned his AL-leading 18th win despite leaving with a back injury in the middle of the sixth inning of Los Angeles's victory over Seattle.
Casey Kotchman hit a three-run homer, a double and a single for the Angels, who had been held to three runs or fewer in eight of their previous 10 games.
Yankees 7, Athletics 3
Oakland, Calif. - Derek Jeter homered on the first pitch of the game, Mark Bellhorn also connected, and Hideki Matsui added an RBI triple, and New York took an important series from Oakland.
Shawn Chacon (4-2) pitched 62â3 effective innings to win for the fourth time in five starts, staked to an early lead thanks to the Yankees' suddenly potent offense.