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White Sox Tame Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox must wait to see who their first-round opponent will be and whether shortstop Nomar Garciaparra will be available.

Garciaparra, bothered by a bruised right wrist, returned to Boston on Thursday night, leaving before the Red Sox lost 5-2 to the Chicago White Sox.

"It's just not healing the way he felt it should be," Boston manager Jimy Williams said of Garciaparra's wrist, first injured Saturday. "He said it was bothering him and he said he thought it was a good idea to have the doctors check it."

Rookie Carlos Lee hit a tiebreaking home run and Jeff Liefer had a pair of RBI doubles to lead the White Sox.

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Game Summary

Baseball features:

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  • Who's Sizzlin' and Fizzlin'
  • The Red Sox, who clinched a postseason berth Wednesday, became the AL wild-card team when New York won the AL East with a doubleheader split at Baltimore, and will open the playoffs next Wednesday against Cleveland or Texas.

    "We're not satisfied just getting there," Williams said. "We have further goals."

    Will Garciaparra be with them?

    "I'm sure he's going to play through it," teammate Darren Lewis said.

    Williams expected Garciaparra to rejoin the team in Baltimore for the final weekend of the regular season. Whether he'll play remained to be seen.

    "That's not good news," Lewis said when told Garciaparra had gone home. "It's not going to heal. I played with a sore wrist for two months. Hopefully, he doesn't have any breaks."

    Garciaparra leads the AL with a .357 average. Which is more important, the title or Garciaparra's hand?

    "The second thing is most important his health," Williams said. "I don't even look at (his average)."

    What is certai is that 23-game winner Pedro Martinez will start Game 1 and Bret Saberhagen will pitch Game 2.

    Lee's 15th homer, a seventh-inning drive off Brian Rose (6-6), put Chicago ahead 3-2, and Magglio Ordonez hit a two-run homer off John Wasdin in the eighth. Ordonez, who went 3-for-4, became the eighth White Sox player ever with 30 homers and 100 RBIs in one season.

    "I was looking for that home run a couple of weeks ago," Ordonez said. "I had to be patient and make good contact. That's what I have been doing the last two weeks."

    Sean Lowe (4-1) pitched two-thirds of an inning as Chicago won for the fifth time in six games. Bob Howry pitched the ninth for his 27th save in 33 chances, retiring pinch-hitter Jason Varitek on a game-ending flyout to deep center with the bases loaded.

    Boston starter Bryce Florie gave up one run and two hits in three innings, and Tim Wakefield pitched the next two innings. Rheal Cormier, Rose and Wasdin followed.

    "I want to use their arms as much as we can but still give them rest," said Williams, who gave regulars Jose Offerman and Troy O'Leary the night off.

    Liefer hit RBI doubles in the second and and fourth, but Lewis hit a two-run single in the sixth off Mike Sirotka, who allowed seven hits and three walks in six innings. Sirotka was trying to win his fourth consecutive decisions.

    After Boston loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, Lowe got Lou Merloni to hit into a double play.


  • Williams said Martinez will tune up for the postseason with a short outing Saturday although his brother Ramon will start the game. Williams would not disclose the rest of the Red Sox playoff rotation.
  • Boston reliever Tom Gordon said he expects to be on the postseason roster. "I didn't work as hard as I did just to get back," said Gordon, who had ben sidelined with a sore elbow. "I came here for a reason. I think it would be tough for me to sit and watch."
  • White Sox catcher Mark Johnson had surgery Thursday to repair the labrum in his left shoulder. He hit .227 in 73 games.

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