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Garland grabs win on mound, hits home run in ChiSox victory

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- Down to his last strike, Jon Garland figured a fastball was coming. His guess was right, his swing was right on.

And the result was downright rare.

Garland hit the first homer by a Chicago White Sox pitcher in 35 years on Sunday, the best of his many good moments in an 8-1 victory that completed a three-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds.

Garland (6-3) had a lot of good moments on the mound, allowing only four singles while pitching into the ninth inning. Naturally, those were overshadowed by one swing.

"We were all laughing," catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. "He talks a lot of trash about hitting."

His two-run shot in the eighth off reliever Esteban Yan was his first career homer and the first by a White Sox pitcher since Steve Kealey's on Sept. 6, 1971, against Minnesota -- two years before the AL adopted the designated hitter.

"It shocked me more than anything," said Garland, who had only two career hits in interleague play before the homer.

The way the White Sox are playing these days, nothing shocks their opponents. They've won 10 of 13, moving a season-high 19 games over .500 while keeping the pressure on AL Central-leading Detroit.

"Those guys don't have any holes over there," Reds manager Jerry Narron marveled. "They won the World Series last year, and they're playing better than they did a year ago. After they've won it, they believe in themselves."

In truth, the White Sox can win any which way.

Alex Cintron singled home the go-ahead run, and Rob Mackowiak matched his career high with four singles as the bottom of Chicago's formidable lineup came through early. Garland and Jermaine Dye homered as the White Sox pulled away to yet another win over Cincinnati.

Chicago has won nine straight against the Reds, leading their interleague series 12-2 overall. It was the third time the White Sox have swept a series from Cincinnati. They also did it in 2000 at Cinergy Field and in 2001 in Chicago.

A 2-8 homestand wiped out everything the Reds had gained during their eight-game winning streak to open the month. Many of the fans wore White Sox jerseys and rooted for the visitors during the weekend series -- something the players noticed.

It was Cincinnati's worst 10-game homestand since 1950.

"This is a terrible homestand," said Brandon Phillips, who had one of the four hits off Garland. "You see everybody in the stands for the White Sox -- they came to support their team. I understand why Reds fans are mad. We're not being consistent."

One of the AL's most balanced offenses showed it can win by doing the little things. Chicago had five bunts, playing it modest for the first seven innings. Then, it got the two clinching homers -- Dye followed Garland's homer with a three-run shot in the ninth off Mike Burns, just back from Triple-A.

Garland (6-3) is behind his pace from last season, when he went 11-2 in his first 13 starts. The right-hander has given up a lot of homers -- 19 -- and a lot of big innings. He managed to avoid both of those downfalls in a ballpark where the ball flies, retiring 13 in a row before Phillips singled to start the ninth.

"He threw really well," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "In his last two outings, he's gotten a lot of ground balls. Last year, he had a good change-up. It looks like he's starting to get the feel for it again."

Aaron Harang (7-4) matched Garland through five scoreless innings, having fully recovered from a virus that limited him in his last start. The White Sox finally broke through in the sixth, when Jim Thome walked, Dye singled and Pierzynski sacrificed for the first out. Cintron singled to score Thome for a 1-0 lead.

Guillen then gambled and lost. The White Sox tried a squeeze with Juan Uribe at bat. He popped up the bunt, catcher Jason LaRue made a diving catch, and Dye was tagged out a few steps from home.

The White Sox knocked Harang out of the game in the seventh, when Tadahito Iguchi singled home a run and Thome had a sacrifice fly after the bottom of the order set up the rally.

Notes

  • Thome made his first start of the season at first base and went 0-for-2 with a walk and the sacrifice fly. Thome, who has been the DH all season, was out of the lineup for the first two games in an NL ballpark.
  • Mackowiak had been in a 3-for-20 slump.
  • The Reds held a moment of silence before the game for Brian Wilson, their scouting supervisor in Texas who died of a heart attack Saturday night at age 33. Wilson played three seasons in the Reds' farm system.
  • Burns was called up from Triple-A Louisville on Sunday to take the roster spot of LHP Brandon Claussen, who went on the 15-day DL on Saturday.
  • LaRue made his first start since June 7. He went 0-for-2, leaving him in a 2-for-34 rut.
 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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After his first career homer, Jon Garland is congratulated by third base coach Joey Cora.  (AP)
After his first career homer, Jon Garland is congratulated by third base coach Joey Cora. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

J. Garland
IP 8.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 1
K 4
Chicago

J. Dye
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
 

Related Video

Chicago White Sox
Scott Podsednik, LF4010022 .249
Tadahito Iguchi, 2B5121014 .287
Jim Thome, 1B2101120 .277
    Ross Gload, 1B1110000 .234
Jermaine Dye, RF3123110 .302
A.J. Pierzynski, C4010023 .322
Alex Cintron, 3B5011002 .276
Juan Uribe, SS5010002 .214
Rob Mackowiak, CF4240000 .286
Jon Garland, P2212012 .500
    Agustin Montero, P0000000 .000
Totals3581482915 
Batting
2B - Juan Uribe (9, Harang)
HR - Jermaine Dye (20, Burns), Jon Garland (1, Yan)
SF - Jim Thome (4)
SH - Scott Podsednik (5), A.J. Pierzynski (3), Jon Garland 2 (2)
RBI - Tadahito Iguchi (26), Jim Thome (57), Jermaine Dye 3 (53), Alex Cintron (13), Jon Garland 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Jon Garland 2 (2)
SB - Scott Podsednik (22, 2nd base off Harang/LaRue), Tadahito Iguchi (5, 2nd base off Harang/LaRue)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
E - Juan Uribe (4, Misplayed grounder)
Chicago White Sox
Jon Garland (W,6-3) 8411140 5.58
Agustin Montero 1000000 4.00
Pitches-Strikes - Jon Garland 106-67, Agustin Montero 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Garland 13-8, Agustin Montero 1-2
Batters Faced - Jon Garland 30, Agustin Montero 3
Cincinnati Reds
Felipe Lopez, SS4000010 .277
Brandon Phillips, 2B4110000 .303
Ken Griffey Jr., CF4010010 .268
Adam Dunn, LF4001000 .227
Austin Kearns, RF4000002 .268
Scott Hatteberg, 1B4020001 .294
Juan Castro, 3B3000013 .226
Jason LaRue, C2000100 .178
Aaron Harang, P2000013 .212
    Kent Mercker, P0000000 .000
    Esteban Yan, P0000000 .000
   a- Quinton McCracken, PH1000000 .167
    Mike Burns, P0000000 .000
Totals32141149 
a-grounded out for Yan in the 8th
Batting
RBI - Adam Dunn (43)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - LaRue, F. Lopez-B. Phillips-Hatteberg
Cincinnati Reds
Aaron Harang (L,7-5) 6.2833290 3.92
Kent Mercker 0.1000000 6.46
Esteban Yan 1222001 6.39
Mike Burns 1433001 10.32
HBP - Dye (by Aaron Harang)
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Harang 107-68, Kent Mercker 6-4, Esteban Yan 11-9, Mike Burns 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Harang 5-6, Esteban Yan 3-0, Mike Burns 1-1
Batters Faced - Aaron Harang 31, Kent Mercker 1, Esteban Yan 5, Mike Burns 6
Game Information
Attendance - 31569
Game Time - 2:35
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Marvin Hudson, Second Base - Ed Montague, Third Base - Ed Hickox