White Sox regain lead in AL after beating Devil Rays


The Associated Press

By The Associated Press

CHICAGO – White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen called his team’s performance “ugly,” though it was still good enough to put Chicago back in first in the AL wild-card race.

Jermaine Dye homered and drove in four runs and Joe Crede tied a career-high with four hits to lead the White Sox to a 12-9 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Tuesday night.

Crede also drove in two runs to help the White Sox move one-half game ahead of Minnesota in the AL wild-card race. The Twins lost 2-0 to Kansas City.

Guillen watched his bullpen nearly squander a six-run lead in the eighth inning.

“Our main thing, the biggest goal we have is our pitching staff. Obviously, they just don’t do what they are supposed to do. This was a win, this was an ugly win,” Guillen said. “As a manager and a coach, you start second guessing yourself about what I should do or what we’re doing wrong.”

Guillen also found himself in another feud.

Delmon Young went 2-for-3 in his major league debut for Tampa Bay, two months after serving a 50-game suspension in the minors for throwing his bat at an umpire. He got hit on his right shoulder during his first at-bat and hit a two-run homer during his third plate appearance.

Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon was upset with Guillen and White Sox starter Freddy Garcia for hitting Young.

“Now in the future we will handle our own problems and we don’t want anybody else to think they need to discipline us. For me, I want the word out that’s the last that time it should happen. It’s over for him,” said Maddon. “It’s obvious what they (White Sox) did. Nobody else needs to discipline us, we’ll take care of that ourselves.”

Garcia denied Tampa Bay’s allegations.

“I don’t know why, I don’t know that kid and I don’t really pay attention to all that stuff. I tried to pitch inside and I hit him, it’s no big deal for me,” Garcia said.

“I tried to pitch inside, I was all over the plate anyway, I don’t think I had great command today.”

The Devil Rays started yelling at Garcia for hitting Young, which surprised the rookie, considering he had blasted the organization previously.

“I said some stupid things in the paper,” said Young, who criticized the Tampa Bay organization for not promoting him to the majors sooner. “I wouldn’t have expected the guys to be behind me so quick.”

Tampa Bay retaliated by hitting A.J. Pierzynski in the eighth inning.

Jorge Cantu hit a two-run homer off White Sox reliever Neal Cotts in the eighth for the Devil Rays, who have lost five straight games.

Garcia (13-8) allowed five runs and seven hits in seven innings, winning back-to-back starts for the first time since June when he won three straight and moved the defending world champs within five games of AL Central leader Detroit. He struck out a season high-tying six and walked two.

Bobby Jenks pitched a perfect ninth for his 37th save in 39 chances.

“Yeah, we should have done some things a little bit different, but it’s not going to be easy so we will take this one,” said Dye. “Right now, stats and everything should be thrown out the window and everybody’s focus should be winning the ballgame no matter how we do it.”

Tampa Bay starter Casey Fossum (6-6) allowed back-to-back walks to start the first inning. Dye followed with an opposite-field homer to give the White Sox a 3-0 lead. Young looked like he had a shot at catching Dye’s homer, but appeared to lose track of where he was and didn’t jump for the ball, which hit off the top of the fence and bounced over for Dye’s 39th of the season.

In the second inning, Fossum walked three consecutive batters after getting one out. Dye drove in a run on a fielder’s choice and Paul Konerko chased Fossum with an RBI single. After Chad Orvella came on, Crede and Pierzynski greeted him with consecutive RBI singles to put the White Sox up 7-0.

Fossum failed to make it out of the second inning for the third time in seven starts. He allowed seven runs and three hits with five walks in 1 2-3 innings.

Carl Crawford and Dioner Navarro hit RBI-doubles off Garcia in the third inning, and Greg Norton had a run-scoring grounder in the fifth to pull Tampa Bay to 7-3.

Kevin Witt singled in the sixth inning and Young followed with his first major league hit and homer off Garcia to cut the White Sox lead to 7-5.

Crede had an RBI double off Tampa Bay reliever Shawn Camp in the sixth inning. In the seventh, Tampa Bay reliever Ruddy Lugo allowed back-to-back RBI singles to Brian Anderson and Scott Podsednik. Anderson later scored on B.J. Upton’s throwing error, putting the White Sox up 11-5.

The Devil Rays scored four runs in the eighth on Cantu’s two-run homer, Rocco Baldelli’s RBI double and Upton’s run-scoring fielder’s choice.

Ross Gload had an RBI double in the ninth for Chicago’s final run.

Notes: The constant drizzle kept White Sox DH Jim Thome out of the game with a strained left hamstring. It was the fourth straight game that he missed. Thome should be back in the lineup Wednesday if the weather conditions improve.