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Archive for Saturday, July 19, 2008

Six-run first spurs Chicago to win

July 19, 2008

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— It was hard to tell that most of the Chicago White Sox had a four-day break. Their batting eyes were sharp and their early approach against Zack Greinke was right on target.

Chicago's first eight batters reached Friday night and the White Sox turned seven first-inning singles into six runs in a 9-5 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

Greinke had given up six hits and a run over seven innings against Chicago when the teams met in Kansas City eight days ago. He didn't look like the same pitcher as the teams opened the second half of the season.

"We were different. We just came out and attacked and before you knew it, he had given up a couple of runs off four or five hits and I think he didn't know what hit him," said Chicago's Jermaine Dye, who had a two-run single in the first.

"I was surprised we came out like that after four days off and being able to see the ball like we did tonight."

Dye went 3-for-4 with a walk, Carlos Quentin homered and Mark Buehrle pitched seven innings to get the win.

"They had four days off to recoup themselves mentally and physically. ... To see them come out and swing the bat that way, you feel a little bit better," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said.

"Because in the back of your mind, you don't know how they're going to throw, how they're going to hit, how they're going to play defense. Because four days is a lot of time off. But they reacted the right way."

Buehrle (7-8) allowed four hits, including a long three-run homer to Billy Butler that got Kansas City within 7-4 in the sixth. But the White Sox added two runs against the Royals' bullpen and maintained their 11â2-game lead over Minnesota.

The White Sox had 22 hits Sunday in a 12-11 loss at Texas in their final game before the break and then continued the hitting tear in the first against Greinke.

Greinke (7-6) lasted three-plus innings, his shortest outing of the season, and left after loading the bases in the fourth on a single and two walks, a jam reliever Joel Peralta quickly escaped. Greinke, 2-8 in his career against the White Sox including 0-6 at U.S. Cellular Field, gave up seven runs, 11 hits and three walks.

And the White Sox were feasting on his pitches early in the count. They scored five runs after the Royals' right-hander had thrown only 16 pitches.

"It's starting to get into my head a little bit," Greinke said of his poor outings in Chicago. "Always in this park. ... Kind of weird. Five pitches, six pitches, five hits or five people on base. So before you knew it, it was really bad."

The only hit Buerhle allowed through the first five innings was a bloop RBI single in the first by Mark Grudzielanek.

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