Loaiza and Co. Shuts Down Daal, O's, 1-0

(SN Report #489) - Esteban Loaiza struck out seven and gave up no runs in seven innings, picking up his seventh win on Tuesday night as the Sox beat the Orioles 1-0.

After Loaiza's seven innings, relievers Tom Gordon and Billy Koch threw an inning a piece to end it. For Koch, it was his fourth save of the season and first since April 22 against the Orioles.

The Sox did what they needed to do on offense, scoring one run, but failed to score on several chances, leaving a total of eight men on base.

D'Angelo Jimenez was picked off first after leading off the first inning with a single. Frank Thomas doubled two batters later. It was Thomas' 400th career double. Paul Konerko walked and Tony Graffanino -- playing third in place of Joe Crede -- doubled in the second inning, but a pop out by Miguel Olivo and strikeout by Willie Harris ended it.

The Sox didn't do much with a bases-loaded, one out situation in the fourth inning, scoring one run on an Olivo groundout, before Harris struck out again for the final out.

In fifth inning, with Jimenez on second and one out, Thomas struck out and Magglio Ordonez walked, bringing up Carlos Lee, who reached on an infield single. On the play, Jimenez overran third and was caught in a rundown for the third out.

Fortunately, Loaiza had the game under control, striking out five of the first eight batters he faced. Loaiza pitched himself out of a two men on, no out situation in the third with a double play, and a two men on, one out situation with a fly out and ground out in the seventh.

The inning before featured an unsual play and call by the umpires. With one out, Jeff Conine at the plate and David Segui on first, the Sox had a potential strike-him-out throw-him-out opportunity, but Jose Valentin lost the ball when he applied the tag, causing second base umpire Terry Craft to retract his out call.

Jimenez recovered the ball and tagged Segui who was walking towards the dugout, which is when first base umpire Charlie Reliford stepped in and called Segui safe, causing the inning to continue. Loaiza then made a nice play on a comebacker off the bat of Jay Gibbons for the last out.

That wasn't the only odd call that occurred. In the eighth inning, Thomas was caught in-between on a shallow fly ball hit by Lee to right field. When second baseman Jerry Hairston Jr. missed the over-the-shoulder attempt, Thomas went for second and looked to have been safe, but was called out. Jerry Manuel argued the call and was ejected from the game.

The Sox' offense managed eight hits in the game off Orioles' starter Omar Daal and reliever Willis Roberts, four coming from Thomas and Jimenez (two each). Ordonez, Lee, Konerko and Harris had the other four.

The Sox, now 18-20, will play game two of the three-game set on Wednesday night at 7:05 CT. Danny Wright is scheduled to go up against Rick Helling. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Net Chicago Plus.

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