White Sox’ Garcia deals to beat Rockies
DENVER – Freddy Garcia retired 22 straight Colorado batters after a rough start Monday night to help the Chicago White Sox to a 9-3 rout of the Rockies.In the first inning, Garcia (6-3) gave up a single, then hit Todd Helton with a pitch to bring up Brad Hawpe with two outs. Hawpe sent a 3-1 pitch over the center-field fence to put the Rockies up 3-2.But Garcia didn’t allow another baserunner after that.He walked none and had a season-high 10 strikeouts in eight innings. Garcia and reliever Shingo Takatsu combined on a two-hitter – only the eighth time two or fewer hits have been allowed at Coors Field.Paul Konerko hit his 15th homer as Chicago improved its major league-best record to 38-19 and snapped Colorado’s season-high, four-game winning streak. The Rockies fell to 19-37, worst in the National League.The loss came on a day in which Colorado learned it lost Clint Barmes, the team’s best rookie, for at least 12 weeks after Barmes slipped and broke his collarbone while carrying groceries up his apartment steps.That news came around the time Colorado manager Clint Hurdle went to the hospital to be with his 2-year-old daughter, Madison, who was readmitted a few weeks after spending time there with seizures.Konerko hit a two-run homer in the first off Joe Kennedy (3-6), whose ERA ballooned to 7.07. His spot on the roster now appears in jeopardy after he was named the opening day starter.With the game tied at 3, Chicago scored three runs in the fifth – on an RBI single by former Rockie Juan Uribe and a two-run double by A.J. Pierzynski.The White Sox chased Kennedy in the sixth when Jermaine Dye hit a two-run double after bench coach Jamie Quirk, subbing for Hurdle, chose to intentionally walk Konerko.Pierzynski, Dye and Uribe all finished with three hits for Chicago.Garcia, meanwhile, was in command through all but the first inning. He threw 103 pitches, 67 of them strikes, and other than Hawpe’s homer, didn’t let the thin air or the aura of Coors Field bother him.The only complaint might have been a couple lame efforts after Garcia made contact during one of the few times he’ll be at bat this season: Twice after hitting the ball he didn’t even run down the first-base line and another time, he barely jogged.His teammates ribbed him, though they couldn’t have cared much given his performance on the mound.Notes: The Rockies and White Sox had never met in the regular season before. … The White Sox recorded double figures in hits for the sixth time in seven games. … Hawpe made an assist from right field, giving him eight this season, which leads the majors.
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