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Dodgers routed by White Sox, 9-2

Chicago blows the game open with a six-run fourth inning. Dodgers starter Jon Garland has communication problems on pitch selection with catcher Rod Barajas.

May 21, 2011|By Jim Peltz
  • Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly replaces starting pitcher Jon Garland in the fourth inning Saturday in Chicago.
Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly replaces starting pitcher Jon Garland in… (Jerry Lai / US Presswire )

Reporting from Chicago

Rain showers expected at U.S. Cellular Field on Saturday afternoon never arrived, but for pitcher Jon Garland and the Dodgers, it still must have felt as if they were caught in a downpour.

The Chicago White Sox effectively took batting practice against Garland, hitting through their lineup in a six-run fourth inning on their way to a 9-2 rout of the Dodgers.

It was a rude homecoming for Garland, who spent several years with the White Sox, and the game didn't conform to the Dodgers' recent play, in which their starting rotation largely has pitched effectively but lacked much run support.

Actually, the latter half of that equation was true again Saturday, as Chicago starter Mark Buehrle — the left-hander with two no-hitters in his career, one a perfect game in 2009 — held the Dodgers to two runs and seven hits in seven innings of work.

One of the few bright spots for the Dodgers (21-26) was rookie Jerry Sands, who belted his first majorleague home run, estimated at 375 feet, into the left-field stands off Buehrle in the sixth inning.

Sands is doing a better job of adjusting to pitchers during a game "and that's what I really like," Manager Don Mattingly said.

Buehrle didn't need to be perfect Saturday after his teammates roughed up Garland, who overall gave up seven runs and 11 hits while also hitting a batter in suffering his fourth loss against only one win this season.

"If you don't make the pitches, you're in trouble," said Garland, whose earned-run average climbed to 4.75 from 3.55.

It didn't help that Garland and catcher Rod Barajas weren't communicating well on pitch selection. "It seemed like me and Rod really didn't connect on the same page today," Garland said.

Barajas agreed. "It doesn't happen very often," he said, but "there was definitely a lot of shaking off [of signs] and stepping off [the mound]," he said.

"I was calling the game I normally do and obviously he had different pitches [in mind] than what I was calling," Barajas said. "It was definitely not our smoothest game."

The game was tied, 1-1, when the White Sox (21-26) blew it open in the fourth inning in front of an announced 25,519.

Alex Rios hit a two-run home run and Alexei Ramirez singled home two more runs in the inning.

After Garland walked Adam Dunn to load the bases, Mattingly replaced Garland with Ramon Troncoso, who immediately gave up another two-run single to designed hitter Paul Konerko. It was Konerko's second at-bat in the inning.

Barajas seemed baffled at the confusion with Garland, saying he hadn't had "any issues" with Garland previously. "I can't remember him stepping off once because we couldn't figure out what pitch we wanted to throw," Barajas said.

The Dodgers scored their first run in the third inning when Jamey Carroll singled, moved to second base on Juan Castro's single, and then ultimately scored on consecutive ground outs by Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp.

Ethier was hitless in three at-bats as the Dodgers' designated hitter in the American League park.

Struggling Dodgers relief pitcher Lance Cormier gave up a two-run home run to Brent Lillibridge in the seventh inning, lifting Cormier's ERA to 9.88.

james.peltz@latimes.com

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