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Rookies Propel ChiSox To Win

Nobody was criticizing the Chicago White Sox's younger players Sunday. Not after two rookies performed superbly in an 8-2 win over the Detroit Tigers.

Jim Parque pitched 6 1-3 shutout innings in his second major league start and Mike Caruso was 4-for-5 with a home run as the White Sox gained a split of a four-game series in Detroit.

Wil Cordero and Frank Thomas also homered for Chicago, which won for just the fourth time in 10 games.

The victory came a day after a 6-0 loss to the Tigers. Losing pitcher Jaime Navarro, in a wide-ranging, expletive-laden postgame blast of himself and his teammates, particularly questioned the contributions from Chicago's young players.

"I didn't really hear about that," Parque said. "I was just thinking about going out there and keeping us in the ballgame."

White Sox manager Jerry Manuel said he was happy to see no apparent residual effects from Navarro's critique.

"The club showed a lot of character after some adverse comments and came out and won," Manuel said.

Caruso, whose four hits matched his career high, and Thomas, who added three hits and three RBIs, hit back-to-back homers in the fifth inning.

Tony Clark hit a two-run homer, his seventh, in the eighth inning for the Tigers' runs.

Parque (1-0), a left-hander who a year ago was pitching for UCLA in the College World Series, allowed four hits and three walks. He made his major league debut last Tuesday and got no decision in Chicago's 7-5 loss to the New York Yankees after allowing two runs in four innings.

Parque gave up back-to-back singles to Joe Randa and Bobby Higginson in the first, a double to Kimera Bartee in the fifth and exited after Deivi Cruz's bloop single in the seventh.

"I just went back to what got me here," Parque said. "I watched how (Mike) Sirotka pitched against them the other day, and it taught me a lot."

Parque induced 15 infield outs, 11 on grounders. Catcher Chad Kreuter said the rookie did an excellent job of keeping his changeup away and coming back with fastballs.

"He has a good idea what he wants to do out there," Kreuter said. "You have to give him credit for sticking with a game plan."

Detroit's Damion Easley, who went 0-for-4 to end his AL season-best hitting streak at 19 games, said Parque pitched like a veteran.

"He was in and out, kept it down and he mixed his pitches and changed speeds well," Easley said. "He made us get ourselves out."

Frank Castillo (2-3) was hammered for seven runs on nine hits, including the three home runs, in four-plus innings. His ERA after seven starts is 10.52.

"Sometimes when you're going through a stretch like this you try to make a perfect pitch too much," Castillo said"You have to be confident and go after people. The last couple of games that just hasn't been there for me."

Castillo has given up 21 earned runs in 14 1-3 innings over his last three starts. But Tigers manager Buddy Bell has no immediate plans to take him out of the rotation.

"He could be trying to overthrow or trying to be too perfect," Bell said. "I hope he can correct it. He knows how to pitch; he's just going through a stretch where the ball is up in the zone."

Thomas drove in Chicago's first two runs with a sacrifice fly in the first and an RBI single in the third.

Cordero hit his sixth homer and second of the series after Robin Ventura doubled in the fourth, giving the White Sox a 4-0 lead.

Caruso's second homer followed Ray Durham's single in the fifth. Thomas followed with his ninth home run, a blast into the right field upper deck that finished Castillo.

The White Sox added a run in the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Mike Cameron.

Notes: Caruso is batting .478 (11-for-23) since taking over the No. 2 spot in Chicago's order five games ago. ... Easley's 34 RBIs in May were the most for a Tiger in one month since Rocky Colavito had 38 in July 1961. ... Parque is the first player taken in last year's June draft to appear in the majors. ... Detroit's Brian Hunter, who missed the Chicago series with a left groin strain, did some pregame running and said he hopes to return in two or three more days.

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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