Loaiza Tops Twins 2-1, Earns 11th Win

(SN Report #538) - Esteban Loaiza pitched another gem, improving his record to 11-2, and the offense did just enough as the White Sox gained a game on the first-place Twins with Tuesday night's 2-1 win.

Along with earning his 11th win, Loaiza, who gave up one run (no earned) in eight innings, lowered his ERA to 1.99. Loaiza struck out six, walked one and gave up six hits.

The White Sox were very patient in the early going against Twins' starter Rick Reed, putting two men on base with one out in the first inning.

However, summing up the White Sox season up to that point, they ran themselves out of the inning as D'Angelo Jimenez took too big of a lead on a softly hit lineout by Magglio Ordonez, causing him to get doubled up at second.

The White Sox did manage to score in the second on a Carlos Lee single, scoring Brian Daubach (double) and putting the Sox up, 1-0. Daubach reached when his high fly ball, which appeared to be an easy out to rightfielder Bobby Kielty, hit a speaker or set of lights and bounced behind secondbaseman Denny Hocking, who was watching Kielty.

If it wasn't for the botched inning-ending double play throw by Jose Valentin in the eighth, allowing the Twins to score their first run, the second-inning run would've been enough for Loaiza.

Fortunately, the Sox were able to add a second run in the sixth-inning with a single by Frank Thomas. Miguel Olivo, who started the inning with a double and advanced to third on a deep fly ball to right-center by Willie Harris, scored.

The hits in the inning were the first since the second as Reed retired 11 straight batters. Reed gave up two runs in seven innings.

Despite the win, the Sox did have their problems. Included in the baserunning gaffe by Jimenez and throwing error by Valentin were two more mistakes performed by the two, both in the sixth inning, both on the same play.

The play happened when a groundball by Hocking went off the glove of Jimenez and into the right-center field. Hocking then tried to take second, which looked to be a bad move as Harris made a good throw to Valentin several feet before Hocking, but Valentin failed to make the tag.

Damaso Marte retired the first two batters in the ninth, while Billy Koch picked up his 11th save, getting Torii Hunter to groundout to end it.

The White Sox are now 4.5 games out of first place, which is now being held by both the Twins and Royals.

Game two of the series will be on Wednesday night at 7:05 CT, with Jon Garland going up against Joe Mays. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Net Chicago.

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