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INTERLEAGUE ROUNDUP

White Sox Get Even With Cubs

June 27, 2004|From Associated Press

Power and poise helped the Chicago White Sox even their series with the Cubs.

Paul Konerko, Joe Crede and Jose Valentin homered, rookie starter Felix Diaz got his first major league win and new closer Shingo Takatsu lived up to his nickname "Mr. Zero."

It added up to a 6-3 victory Saturday at U.S. Cellular Field that tied the spirited crosstown interleague series at one game apiece.

"I think we were a little more calm today as a team," Konerko said after his second three-run homer in as many games. "We were kind of geeked up yesterday. I think we had a better approach today.

"I love these games. They're fun."

After winning the series opener, 7-4, Friday, the Cubs couldn't overcome the wildness of starter Carlos Zambrano, who surrendered a season-high five walks and eight hits in six innings.

Konerko and Crede homered in a five-run third off Zambrano, who had won four consecutive decisions and not lost since May 25.

"One bad outing, it's already in the past," said Zambrano, looking forward to another chance next weekend against the Sox at Wrigley Field.

"My next start is against them at home and hopefully it will be better."

Diaz (1-1) earned his first big league win by keeping his composure in a frenetic setting. He'd just been called up Friday to start the game after Scott Schoeneweis was put on the disabled list with a sore elbow.

Roughed up in his first two major league starts earlier this season when he gave up 11 earned runs in 8 2/3 innings, Diaz came through with a much stronger effort when the White Sox needed it.

"He tried to pitch the same way he did in the minors," White Sox catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. said, translating for Diaz. Then, Diaz surprised Alomar and everyone else during a news conference by speaking for himself in English.

"You need to keep the ball down at all times," he said.

Diaz gave up six hits, including Corey Patterson's solo homer in the fifth, and three runs. Cliff Politte pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings, and Damaso Marte got one out in the eighth before Takatsu retired Sammy Sosa on a grounder to end the inning.

Takatsu, the Japanese saves leaders, pitched a perfect ninth for his third save in as many chances, extending his scoreless streak to 25 1/3 innings over 23 outings.

Philadelphia 9, Boston 2 -- Jim Thome hit his major league-leading 26th home run and the Phillies took advantage of a season-high four Red Sox errors to score five unearned runs and win at Boston.

Thome's homer was his 14th of the month, one shy of the franchise record set by Cy Williams in May 1923. It was his 10th homer in 13 interleague games -- and his 44 since interleague play began in 1997 are the most in the majors.

Texas 8, Houston 7 -- Hank Blalock matched a career high with four hits, including the go-ahead homer in the eighth inning at Arlington, Texas, to lead the Rangers to their eighth consecutive victory.

Carlos Almanzar (6-0), the sixth Texas pitcher, pitched one inning and has the most wins without a loss in the majors. Francisco Cordero pitched the ninth for his 22nd save in 24 chances.

St. Louis 3, Kansas City 1 -- Edgar Renteria's RBI single drove in the tiebreaking run in the 10th inning to lift the Cardinals at Kansas City, Mo.

Rudy Seanez (0-1) walked Albert Pujols leading off the 10th. Pujols, who leads the NL with 65 runs, stole second and scored his second run of the game on Renteria's second RBI hit. Mike Matheny made it 3-1 with an RBI single -- his third hit of the night -- with two out.

Tampa Bay 6, Florida 4 -- Carl Crawford drove in three runs, including a go-ahead RBI double in the seventh at St. Petersburg, Fla., and the Devil Rays tied a major league record with their 13th consecutive interleague victory.

The Devil Rays also became the first team in major league history to climb above .500 at any point in a season after being 18 games below, continuing a surge during which they've compiled baseball's best record -- 26-7 -- since May 20.

Seattle 7, San Diego 3 -- Julio Mateo set a team record by winning his first five career decisions and Jolbert Cabrera hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning to lead the Mariners at Seattle.

Mateo (1-0) needed 91 career appearances -- 29 this season -- over three seasons to improve to 5-0 for his career. He pitched 2 1/3 innings, giving up two runs and three hits with three strikeouts and a walk.

Milwaukee 7, Minnesota 2 -- Jeff Liefer homered for the first time in 11 months and tied a career high with four RBIs to lead the Brewers at Minneapolis.

Victor Santos (6-3) won for the fourth time in five starts and Lyle Overbay drove in two runs with his major league-leading 30th double to help Milwaukee end a three-game losing streak.

Detroit 7, Arizona 6 -- Eric Munson homered to lead off the ninth inning and gave the Tigers the victory at Detroit.

Carlos Guillen also homered and drove in four runs for Detroit, and Omar Infante had a solo shot as the Tigers handed the Diamondbacks their eighth consecutive loss.

Toronto 10, Montreal 5 -- Miguel Batista pitched seven strong innings, and Frank Menechino and Reed Johnson hit home runs to lead the Blue Jays, who scored four unearned runs off three errors, at Toronto.

Scott Downs (0-1), promoted from triple-A Edmonton on Friday, gave up seven runs -- three earned -- and six hits in 2 2/3 innings.

Cleveland 4, Colorado 3 -- Ben Broussard lined a game-winning double in the 12th inning to give the Indians the victory at Cleveland.

The Indians lost ace C.C. Sabathia, who left with a sore shoulder after retiring the side in the first in only eight pitches. Sabathia was taken for an MRI.

Atlanta 5, Baltimore 0 -- Russ Ortiz pitched seven scoreless innings at Baltimore to earn his first victory in June for the Braves.

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