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Lumbering into first

June 30, at Minnesota

Magglio Watch
Days left on the DL:
Number of special newspaper articles covering it:

"Spent the day in Miami clearing up his visa with the feds before having a first place party."

Short Take: Garcia debut successful as offense pounds Radke, Twins for 9 runs, 13 hits goes here

There are plenty of good reasons Freddy Garcia had about being excited to be traded to the White Sox. Playing for your best friend? Nice. Moving to Chicago, the world’s finest city? Added bonus. Moving from the cellar of the A.L. West to the penthouse in the Central? Good stuff. But, above all else, the Sox showed Garcia what he really is going to like about wearing the South Side Pinstripes… Run support!

During this season with Seattle, Garcia was getting a shade over 2 runs per game in support. On Wednesday evening in Minneapolis, the Sox poured nine runs on the Twins, giving Garcia a win in his first ever start with the Sox, 9-6 to take a full game lead in the division.

The Sox scored early and often, throwing a run on the board each inning for the first four. The Sox showed off their little ball, as they got the jobs done with sacrifice flies, little rollers on the infield, but the Sox also flexed some muscle, as Paul Konerko lead off the fourth with a monster blast to straight away center field, giving the Sox a 4-1 lead at the time.

Garcia looked good in his first innings with the Sox. He retired 9 of the first 10 batters he faced, only allowing a home run to Joe Mauer in the third. Coupled with five strikeouts through the first three frames, Sox fans had to be excited with Garcia. But then the wheels started to fall off Freddy. He allowed two hits in the fourth, but managed to escape the “mini-jam” with a pair of runners at first and second. In the fifth, after the Sox had gone down 1-2-3 for the first time on the night, he would not be so lucky. After Matt LeCroy singled, Joe Mauer grounded into what should have at least been a force, but an error by Jose Valentin put the pair on with no outs. After Luis Rivas failed to move anyone over with a terrible attempt at a bunt, Freddy grooved one to Cristian Guzman and he drilled his only hit of the night a good 10 feet over the baggy in right to knot the score at 4.

But just as John Rooney calmly explained, whenever Jose Valentin makes an error that costs the Sox a run, he finds a way to get that run back, and he didn’t take much time apologizing to Freddy, with a solo shot off Brad Radke to give the Sox a one-run lead. This time, though, Garcia needed no help in handing a tie back to the Twins, as Corey Koskie lead off the sixth with a monster home run to center field.

And that’s when the Sox offense, that had been stalling for a few innings gave Freddy the runs he needed and put the Twins away for good. Joe Crede grabbed the lead back quickly, with a lead-off home run to left. A pair of singles by Sandy Alomar, Jr. and Timo Perez chased Radke from the game. Juan Uribe laid down a bunt to Juan Rincon to advance Burke (who ran for Alomar) and Perez ninety feet for Frank Thomas, who singled to right to score Burke. Carlos Lee scored Perez the next at bat with a sacrifice fly.

The four runs were two more than the bullpen would need. With the Sox firmly in the lead, Ozzie Guillen pulled his starter. The line on Garcia’s first start for the South Siders was good; not great, but good enough. In six innings, he allowed four earned runs, walked none, and struck out a season-high nine. The bullpen trio of Cliff Politte, Damaso Marte, and Shingo Takatsu needed little help, but they did get a solo home run from Aaron Rowand to ice the action. The only real notable excitement of the last three innings was Joe Mauer’s home run in the ninth off Takatsu, ending his streak of scoreless innings. However, file that one under “Way too Little and way too late,” as the Sox coasted to a 9-6 win over the Twins to put them two games up on the Twins in the loss column and a game in the standings.

Make no mistake about it, Sox fans. Tonight’s win was a huge one. The Sox came into the Humpdome a game outside of first and thanks to this win, the Sox cannot leave with anything less than a tie for the division lead. Considering he’d be replacing either Jon Rauch or Felix Diaz in the rotation, you have to be pretty happy with Freddy Garcia.

The Sox meanwhile, can really go for the jugular tomorrow afternoon as Jon Garland takes the hill against Johan Santana. I can’t lie here folks; a sweep would be really nice and would go a long way in burying the Twins with the rest of the pretenders in this division. Game time 12:10 PM Central Time and the game will be broadcasted over Fox Sports Net.

Ozzieball Update:
Lost in all the dingers were some keys runs scored by moving runners over and sacrifice flies. The Sox run manufacturing machine should be music to Freddy Garcia's ears.

submitted by doublem23

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Joe Crede

Capped off a solid month going 2-3 with a homer and a pair of RBIs. Joe has hit .317 in June and raised his BA nearly 40 points the last 30 days.

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!


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Totally Biased Game Recaps

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

September 24... Covey Captivates, but Kluber Cruises

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September 18...Klubered, but Not Clobbered

September 16... Baltimore Blanked

September 10... Thrown Away

September 8... Anaheim Annihilation

September 3... Power Special

September 1... 18 Strikeouts Later, the White Sox Lose

August 30...Leaky Bullpen Bombed by Boston

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