CHICAGO -- Missouri native Joe Crede had a busy day reading text messages from friends and family back home. They were joking with him, telling him: "Go Cardinals!"
Crede's response came once the game started.
He homered twice and was the catalyst for an 11-run, 12-hit third inning Tuesday night to lead the Chicago White Sox to their biggest offensive output in 10 years and a 20-6 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.
"It was something I don't think I've ever been a part of," Crede said after getting four of the White Sox's 24 hits. "Everybody was able to have quality at-bats and it showed. ... Once a few guys start getting hits here and there, everybody followed suit."
"When you throw that bull I was throwing up there, it's not going to get it done," Mulder said. "Just a whole bunch of pitches over the middle of the plate. They were swinging at all of them and hitting all of them."
Starting with Crede's leadoff double, the White Sox sent 16 batters to the plate in their biggest inning of the season en route to a victory that put them 20 games over .500.
Chicago tacked on six more runs in the sixth, Crede hit his second homer in the seventh and the White Sox finished with season highs in runs and hits.
It was the first time since May 15, 1996, against Milwaukee that the White Sox had scored 20 runs in a game. Chicago's 24 hits was its most since it had 24 versus Seattle on August 9, 2000.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen and reliever David Riske were ejected in the seventh after Chris Duncan was hit with a pitch. The benches had been warned in the bottom of the sixth after St. Louis reliever Sidney Ponson hit two White Sox batters with the bases loaded.
"I'm not going to put my teammates in jeopardy to get hurt. It looked like it was, but it wasn't. It was never my intention," Ponson said.
"Those guys are going to be mad and they have every right to do that. I would be too if I got hit like that."
Riske said the pitch just got away from him. But last week White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen had a dugout tirade when rookie pitcher Sean Tracey failed to retaliate after Pierzynski had twice been hit with pitches in Texas.
Guillen said he knew Tony La Russa, his first major league manager, had nothing to do with two of his batters being hit.
"If Ponson says he is not hitting them on purpose, we believe it," Guillen said. "And I don't believe Riske hit anybody on purpose either."
Guillen said he expected to be disciplined by the league for the incident.
Duncan hit a two-run homer in the ninth for the Cardinals, who finished with 16 hits.
Mulder (6-5) lasted just 2 1/3 innings -- his shortest outing of the season -- while giving up 10 hits and nine runs.
"They kicked our butt," La Russa said. "I'm probably going to have to sleep standing up."
Brian Anderson followed Crede's leadoff double in the third with another one to tie it at 1-1. After Pablo Ozuna flied out, Tadahito Iguchi, Jim Thome, Konerko and Dye singled in succession. Pierzynski followed with a three-run homer, Juan Uribe singled and then Crede connected on his 11th homer to finally finish Mulder and make it 9-1.
Ozuna and Iguchi singled and Thome walked, loading the bases off reliever Brad Thompson before Konerko delivered a two-run single.
Uribe added a two-run homer in the fourth. He also had an RBI single in the sixth off Ponson, who then hit Anderson and Ozuna with bases-loaded pitches to make it 16-2.
Guillen came out of the dugout to check on Ozuna and then argued with the umpires after a warning was issued to both benches. Minutes later, Ponson was removed from the game by La Russa.
Ross Gload had a two-run single off Tyler Johnson to make it 19-2.
The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI single by Juan Encarnacion off Javier Vazquez (8-4). Vazquez allowed seven hits and two runs in six innings, improving his career record against the Cardinals to 2-6.
Chicago's victory came on the 20th anniversary of La Russa's firing as White Sox's manager, three seasons after taking them to 99 wins and a division title.
"1986 was just unworkable," La Russa said before the game.
He was fired by general manager Ken "Hawk" Harrelson, now the team's TV broadcaster. Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who remains a close friend of La Russa's, has called La Russa's firing one of the biggest mistakes he ever made.
La Russa managed for the first time Tuesday against Guillen, who was the 1985 AL Rookie of the Year with La Russa as his first big league manager.
- Mulder, a native of suburban South Holland, Ill., is now 5-2 in his career against the White Sox. In his last six starts, Mulder has given up 51 hits and 35 earned run in 27 2/3 innings.
- The White Sox last collected seven straight hits in an inning on July 19, 2003, against the Tigers.
- Albert Pujols hit in the batting cage, took grounders and ran hard in the outfield before the game, preparing for his return to the Cardinals' lineup. He has been out since June 3 with a strained oblique muscle.
- The White Sox signed first-round pick Kyle McCulloch, a right-handed pitcher from the University of Texas.
- A crowd of 39,463 was the White Sox's 16th sellout of the season.