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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Sweep in Cincy

June 18 at Cincinnati

How was the trophy defended today?
With good pitching and a lot of offense.

Short Take: Garland takes shutout into 9th, adds a two-run homer as Sox rout Reds to sweep series.

Jon Garland turned in his best performance of the season thus far, giving up just four hits and one earned run in 8-plus innings of work as the Sox defeated the Reds this Father's Day afternoon by the score of 8-1. Garland even contributed with his bat, stroking a two-run home run in the 8th inning to help put the game out of reach.

Garland in fact only allowed two hits and a walk through the first eight innings, and was able to escape some trouble early to keep the Reds off the scoreboard. Cincinnati was able to load the bases in the second inning thanks to an error by Juan Uribe, a single and a walk, but Garland was able to retire the pitcher for the third out of the inning to get out of the jam. His counterpart today was Aaron Harang, who kept the Sox scoreless for the first 5 innings of the contest as well.

Uribe led off the top of the 5th with a double off Harang, but with men on second and third with just one out in the inning the Sox offense failed to capitalize and were held scoreless. With the game still scoreless, the Sox offense finally broke through in the 6th. Jim Thome got the start at first base today and led off the inning with a walk, eventually scoring the game's first run on a single by third baseman Alex Cintron. Still in the 6th inning, the Sox had runners at the corners with just one out for Uribe. Uribe tried a squeeze bunt, but he popped it up in the air and it was caught by the Reds catcher, Jason LaRue. LaRue easily tagged out Jermaine Dye, who had been trying to score on the play, for the third out of the inning.

Garland kept cruising, at one point retiring 13 straight Cincinnati hitters to keep the shutout alive. The Sox gave him a couple of insurance runs in the top half of the 7th, chasing Harang. Rob Mackowiak, who was 4-4 on the day with two runs scored, led off the inning with a single. Garland laid down a sacrifice bunt back to the pitcher, and Mackowiak beat the force play at second base. Scott Podsednik sacrificed both runners into scoring position, and with one out Tadahito Iguchi singled to drive home Mackowiak with the Sox' second run of the game. Thome followed with a towering sacrifice fly to left field to score Garland, giving the Sox a 3-0 advantage. Garland aided his own cause in the 8th. With Mackowiak on first, Garland homered to left centerfield off Reds reliever Esteban Yan, a two-run shot that put the Sox up 5-0.

The way Garland was throwing today, the game was already out of reach. But that didn't stop the Sox from tacking on three more runs in the 8th, courtesy of a three-run home run by Dye. Garland took an 8-0 lead into the 9th inning, but he had to be relieved after giving up consecutive singles to start the inning. Rookie Agustin Montero came in for mop-up duty, and allowed one run to score on a fielder's choice groundout by Adam Dunn to give the Reds their only run of the game. The run would be charged to Garland, but despite that it was a stellar effort for the big right-hander, who earned his 6th victory of the season.

With the win, the Sox finish their road trip with a gaudy 6-1 record and keep pace with the upstart Detroit Tigers, who cling to a 1.5 game lead in the AL Central over the defending World Champs. The White Sox (44-25) have an off day tomorrow and return home to play three games against NL-Central leading St. Louis (41-26). Tuesday night, Javier Vazquez (7-4, 4.54) takes the mound for the Sox against native south sider Mark Mulder (6-4, 5.32). Gametime is 7:05 pm CDT at US Cellular Field, and will be televised on CSN Chicago.

Happy Father's Day!

Ozzieball Update:
Squeeze bunt by Uribe turned into inning-ending double play but in the end it didn't matter.

submitted by beckett21.

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Jon Garland

Returns to playoff form by hurling 8 innings of shutout ball, to go along with hitting a two-run home run.

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