PHILADELPHIA -- Aaron Rowand's day off turned into a career day.
Kyle Kendrick pitched six effective innings in his major league debut, Wes Helms broke a season-long homerless drought with a solo shot and the Phillies won for the seventh time in nine games to move a season-best four games above .500 at 35-31.
Rowand wasn't in the starting lineup against his former team, but drove in the tying run on a groundout as a pinch-hitter in the sixth. His five RBIs tied a career-high.
"I'll take it. I'm a little banged-up, but it worked out pretty good," Rowand said.
Filling in for the injured Freddy Garcia, Kendrick gave up three runs on six hits. The 22-year-old right-hander struck out four and walked two in his first outing above Double-A.
"I was a little nervous," Kendrick said. "I was trying to do my job and help the team win. You can't be in awe."
Ryan Madson (1-2) pitched a scoreless seventh to earn the win.
Chase Utley legged out a double to left to start the bottom of the seventh against Matt Thornton (2-2). After Howard struck out and Pat Burrell was intentionally walked, pinch-hitter Abraham Nunez slapped a run-scoring single to right field to give the Phillies a 4-3 lead.
Thornton walked Rod Barajas with two outs to load the bases and grooved an 0-2 pitch to Rowand, who lined it into the left-field seats for his second career slam.
"It was a fastball in that didn't go where I wanted it to," Thornton said.
Thome, a designated hitter in non-interleague play, didn't start the first two games of the series and was in the on-deck circle when the final out was recorded in all three games.
When he came to the plate with a runner on second and one out in the first inning, the notoriously tough Philly fans showed their appreciation for an all-around nice guy who hit 89 homers in his first two seasons after signing an $85 million, six-year contract with the Phillies in November 2002. Thome stepped out of the batter's box, took his helmet off and tipped it to the crowd. He tapped out in front of the plate a few pitches later.
Thome was booed when he returned to Cleveland, but many Indians fans felt he deserted them for money.
"It's something I'll always remember," Thome said of the ovation. "It was very special, a lot of emotion inside."
White Sox starter John Danks allowed two runs in 4 2/3 innings. He left after striking out Howard with runners on first and second for the second out in the fifth. Ryan Bukvich entered and retired Burrell on a grounder to third baseman Josh Fields, who dove to his left to make the play.
Danks threw 103 pitches, part of the reason the left-hander was lifted one out away from qualifying for a win.
Right fielder Jayson Werth made an outstanding defensive play to keep the Phillies within a run in the fifth. He robbed Jermaine Dye of extra bases with a diving catch on a sinking liner to right-center with two on and two outs.
The White Sox scored single runs off Kendrick each of the first three innings.
Alex Cintron doubled and scored on Dye's two-out double to center in the first. Utley's RBI single in the bottom half of the inning tied it at 1. Fields had an RBI single in the second to put Chicago ahead 2-1.
Helms connected in the second inning to tie it at 2. Expected to provide power as a free-agent acquisition, Helms hadn't gone deep in his first 151 at-bats for the Phillies and 163 at-bats overall, dating to last season. He initially got the silent treatment from teammates in the dugout before Shane Victorino finally walked over and hugged him.
Dye's double-play grounder scored Cintron for a 3-2 lead in the third.
"When we hit, we don't pitch. When we pitch, we don't hit," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "We'll keep trying."
- Kendrick looped a single to right his first time up.
- Garcia was in Birmingham, Ala., to see renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion on his ailing shoulder.
- The Phillies are 8-16 against left-handed starters.
- Rowand's other slam was for the White Sox against Detroit's Jeremy Bonderman on Aug. 18, 2004.