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White Sox Playing With Confidence

May 11, 1997|From Associated Press

CHICAGO — Terry Bevington and the Chicago White Sox are starting to feel more confident these days.

Bevington, assured by General Manager Ron Schueler on Saturday that his job was safe, saw his team win its third consecutive game with a 9-8 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

Dave Martinez singled home the winning run with one out in the ninth for Chicago, which has won five of six.

Martinez went four for five with a homer and three runs batted in, and Frank Thomas homered as the White Sox got a season-high 17 hits.

Chicago, which led, 5-0, after one inning, allowed Oakland to score eight unanswered runs before tying the score in the eighth.

In the ninth against Billy Taylor (1-2), Thomas walked for the third time and Harold Baines drew a one-out walk. Lyle Mouton reached on an infield single before Martinez lined his single to left.

"It was 2 and 0 and I was just looking for a ball I could hit hard, try to get it through the infield," Martinez said. "It was a fastball out, over the plate. I put good wood on it."

The White Sox have won three consecutive games for the first time, and are finally beginning to resemble the club most thought would be among the AL's best in '97.

"We're starting to gel as a team," Martinez said. "Things are starting to come around. Albert Belle is starting to swing the bat, Frank is doing his job, Harold Baines is coming around and myself. If we get things rolling, we can score a lot of runs."

Al Levine (2-1) pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings for the victory.

Jose Canseco homered and drove in three runs and Tony Batista hit a three-run homer for Oakland, which has lost four in a row and 10 of its last 13.

"You can't knock the effort of our team, but we haven't been doing the little things," said Oakland coach Duffy Dyer, filling in at manager while Art Howe attended his daughter's college graduation in Wyoming.

Mark McGwire went hitless for the A's and is hitless in 12 at-bats in the series.

Trailing, 8-5, the White Sox tied the score by scoring three runs with a two-out rally in the seventh.

Ray Durham bunted for a single and Thomas walked. Belle came through with an RBI single and Baines followed with a two-run double off Buddy Groom.

"In the years I've been here, he has been one of the best clutch hitters in the game," said Dyer. "I was hoping that Bevington would make a move so I wouldn't have to go to the bullpen, but he didn't. Baines was 0 for 7 against Groom. I really didn't want to see him [Baines] come up to the plate."

Thomas' fourth homer of the season and Martinez' second helped the White Sox take a 5-0 lead in the first against starter Dave Telgheder.

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