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Thomas Wins Back Fans

June 15, 2003|From Associated Press

CHICAGO — Frank Thomas is finally getting the response he wants from the fans.

Thomas hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning, rallying the Chicago White Sox past the San Diego Padres, 6-5, Saturday night.

Thomas, who has homered in three consecutive games, got a standing ovation from the crowd, prompting a curtain call.

"It was great. When I have been good, they love me," Thomas said. "When I have been bad they've shown it too. It goes hand in hand, but it was definitely a proud moment for me."

Thomas was criticized last July when he showed up late and missed the team's pregame stretch after he was unhappy about being benched.

But everybody was happy Saturday night.

"It was encouraging, he's had some problems with the fans -- at least throughout the time that I have been here," White Sox Manager Jerry Manuel said. "It was great to see him hit that home run and to give them somewhat of a curtain call. That was a good moment for us."

Carlos Lee hit a three-run shot and Magglio Ordonez also homered for Chicago. Billy Koch retired Ryan Klesko on a fly ball with the bases loaded to end it.

With the White Sox trailing 5-4 in the eighth, Padres reliever Jay Witasick (0-1) gave up a single to Tony Graffanino. Thomas followed by hitting 1-1 pitch into the left-field bullpen for a 6-5 lead.

"Fortunately, I got the pitch that I was looking for and it happened," Thomas said.

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