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White Sox Continue To Roll


The Chicago White Sox sent shortstop Jose Valentin to the outfield Saturday for the first time in his major league career and he was the star of the game.

The banged-up Boston Red Sox put rookie Izzy Alcantara, an infielder by trade, in right field and he turned the day into one fielding misadventure after another.

So it goes.

The White Sox are winning, no matter what they seem to do. The Red Sox, right now, aren't.

"I felt comfortable, but it was a little weird. It's a long run from right field to the dugout. I was just lucky I didn't get any balls hit to me," Valentin said Saturday after hitting a bases-loaded triple in his outfield debut to lead the White Sox to a 7-2 victory.

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Game Summary

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  • Valentin was pressed into duty because of injuries to Magglio Ordonez and Jeff Abbott. He'd played there in winter ball, but never the majors. And the Red Sox made it easy by not hitting any balls to him.

    "We're just short on outfielders," Valentin said. "It was a situation where you got to do what you can to help the team."

    Alcantara, just called up from the minors June 25, is used to being at first or third. But with outfielders Troy O'Leary, Trot Nixon and Darren Lewis all on the DL, he went to right in Boston's patchwork lineup.

    Not only did he make one of tree Red Sox's errors, he was slow coming in on two other balls Chicago's Mark Johnson scored from first on a single on one of the plays and then was picked off the bases in the eighth inning to conclude a long day.

    "There's no excuse," Alcantara said.

    "The game starts with the individual. Those things happen," said Boston center fielder Carl Everett. "He'."

    The White Sox's victory was their 21st in 28 games. Boston has lost nine of 12.

    Mike Sirotka (8-6) allowed four hits and a run in eight innings to win for the fifth time in six decisions.

    Boston outhit the White Sox 6-5, but the defensive effort ruined a decent performance by Paxton Crawford (0-1) in his major league debut.

    Crawford gave up four hits in 5 1-3 innings, but only three of the six runs against him were earned.

    "I kind of felt sorry for the fielders. There were so many tough plays," Crawford said.

    "We played bad," Everett said. "It shouldn't be that tough. We're a good team."

    Some lackadaisical play by Alcantara helped Chicago take a 2-0 lead in the third. Johnson walked and on a hit-and-run scored all the way from first on Ray Durham's single to right when Alcantara was slow getting to the ball and getting it back to the infield.

    Valentin then hit a fly to right-center that turned into an RBI double when Alcantara turned sideways as the ball approached him.

    "We've been doing these things all year," Johnson said of his hustle on the basepaths to get the White Sox started. "Everybody has been trying to take the extra base."

    Brian Daubach hit a bases-loaded, RBI single in the fourth but Chicago center fielder Chris Singleton threw out Nomar Garciaparra at the plate trying to score from second with the tying run.

    Singleton walked to start the bottom of the fourth and raced to third when catcher Jason Varitek's attempted pickoff throw went wild after his elbow hit umpire Mike VanVleet's face mask. Singleton scored on Herbert Perry's sacrifice fly.

    Errors on Alcantara and newly acquired third baseman Ed Sprague and an intentional walk loaded the bases in the sixth. Toy Graffanino's sacrifice fly finished Crawford, who was called up from the minors to make the start.

    Durham walked to re-loaded the bases and Valentin drove Rich Garces' pitch to the gap in right-center, clearing the bases.

    Notes

  • Ordonez, who had to leave Friday night's game after feeling a twinge in his knee after running the bases, got the day off, but the injury is not considered serious. Fourth outfielder Abbott was sidelined Saturday by sore ribs.
  • Sprague, acquired in a trade from San Diego on Friday, had an error and was 0-for-4 in his Red Sox debut.
  • The Red Sox put Darren Lewis on the disabled list Saturday where he joins fellow outfielders Troy O'Leary and Trot Nixon.
  • After the game, the White Sox sent struggling RHP Kip Wells, who's lost four of his last five decisions, back to Triple-A Charlotte.

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