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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Sox (finally) stand behind ace

September 6, 2003 vs. Cleveland

Today's temperature:
"The Sox beat the Jndjans again and Jerry seems to be getting more patient with the players allowing them to do their jobs. One more "easy one" before the real work begins..."

Short Take: Loaiza blows early lead, but this time strong offensive performance gets him win #19

Things were a little unfamiliar Saturday at U.S. Cellular Field.

Esteban Loaiza needed a strong performance by his offense and, shockingly, he got it.

After Loaiza mowed down Cleveland 1-2-3 in the top of the first, the Sox looked like they gave all the run support he'd need in the bottom of the frame.  Tony Graffanino walked and stole second and came around to score on a Carlos Lee single.  He then stole second as Frank Thomas struck out swinging.  The second walk of the inning went to Magglio Ordonez who was followed by Paul Konerko with a meek foul out.  Would the Sox strand runners in good scoring situation again?  Carl Everett answered everyone's prayers with an emphatic 3-run homer into left.  Scorchin' Joe Crede followed that up with a double, but was stranded there.

After a quick 2nd, the wheels starting coming off in the third.  After Josh Bard and Johnny Peralta opened with back-to-back hits, it looked like Loaiza would strand them at 2nd and 3rd as Coco Crisp and Brandon Phillips both were easy outs, but Chicago native Jody Gerut launched a 3-run homer to cut the lead to 1.  The Sox offense began to look a bit punchless as Maggs, Pauly Walnuts, and Carl went down 1-2-3.  Again, in the 4th, the Indains led off with a hit (Ben Broussard single) and again, Esteban got within an out of slamming the door on the rally before he was done in by a home run, however this time the culprit was Josh Bard.  The Sox looked toothless, sending only 7 hitters to the plate in the next two innings and looking like it was going to let down their ace again.

But fate would not have it!  In the 6th, Konerko led off with a solo home run to knot the score at 5.  After Esteban pitched closed the 7th his pitch count was well over 100 and was done.  After Robbie Alomar led off the inning with a single, Lee and Thomas both meekly went down and it looked as if Esteban would still be stranded on 18 wins.  That's when things got interesting though.  Maggs doubled, moving Alomar to third and getting Cleveland's best reliever, Danys Baez into the game.  Paul Konerko answered the call with a clutch single through the left side of the infield.  Alomar scored easily and Maggs hustled into the plate, jarring the ball lose from catcher Josh Bard.  The rally wasn't over, though, as Carl Everret and Joe Crede added 2 more 2-out hits to put the Sox up for good, 8-5.

It was pretty much uneventful after that, thanks to the bullpen work of Damaso Marte and Tom Gordon, who pitched the final two innings of the game, each getting the 'Toons to go down 1-2-3.

The win is #19 on the year for Esteban, meaning he still has a handful of starts to get to 20 and become the first Sox hurler to win 20 since Jack McDowell's 22-win year in 1993.  The win also paces the Pale Hose with their racemates in the Central, as Minnesota defeated Texas 5-2 to remain tied atop the divison and Kansas City is beating Anaheim at the time of publication.  A Royal win keeps them within shouting distance of the Sox and Twins.  The Sox get one more go with Cleveland before the real fun begins as the Twins pay a 4-day visit to the Cell.  Dan Wright (1-5, 5.54) is scheduled to duel with lefty Cliff Lee (3-1, 3.00) tomorrow, at U.S. Cellular Field.  Game time is 1:05 PM Chicago time on WGN.

WSI's Tinkerer Update: Jerry couldn't go wrong today!  Graff gets the start at second and goes 0-2 with a walk and a run and Robbie comes in to pinch hit and goes 1-2 with a run.  Look for more tinkering tomorrow, though.

submitted by doublem23.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Paul Konerko

  2-3 with a homer and 3 RBIs, none more important than a 2-out, 2-run single in the 7th to put the Pale Hose on top for good, even after taking a nasty foul ball off the knee.

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!

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September 29... The Last (And Lost) Weekend

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September 18...Klubered, but Not Clobbered

September 16... Baltimore Blanked

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