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Garland, ChiSox hold on for Fenway shutout

5/23/2002

BOSTON (AP) -- Nobody was expecting a game like this from
Jon Garland, not even Garland himself.

"I was mad at myself in the bullpen, and I hadn't even faced a
batter yet,'' he said Wednesday night after retiring 24 of the
first 25 Boston batters to lead the Chicago White Sox to a 2-0
victory over the Red Sox.

Garland (5-3) worked out his problems in his pregame warmups and
produced the longest outing of his career, allowing only a
fourth-inning double to Johnny Damon in the first eight innings.

But he gave up singles to pinch-hitters Carlos Baerga and Jose
Offerman to start the ninth before Keith Foulke got the last three
outs for his seventh save.

"We just ran into a hornets nest in Mr. Garland,'' Boston
manager Grady Little said. "He just pitched one of the best games
I've ever seen. And we just couldn't get anything going.''

Garland, who has never pitched a complete game in the majors,
struck out four and threw only 83 pitches. His previous low-hit
performance was three hits in five innings when he picked up his
fourth consecutive win on May 1.

Since then, he had lost two consecutive decisions while his earned-run average
ballooned from 2.76 to 5.98. With Wednesday's gem, it dropped back
to 5.10.

"That was probably as good as I've ever seen him,'' Chicago
first baseman Paul Konerko said. "You could see the confidence
growing as the game went on. ... I don't think he knows how good
his pitches are.''

Frank Castillo (2-5) gave up two runs and seven hits in eight
innings. He struck out three and lost his third consecutive start --
his fourth in his last five games -- despite dropping his ERA from
3.88 to 3.64.

"The record in no way reflects how the way he has pitched,''
Little said. "Sometimes it's just like that for pitchers.''

Despite a 30-13 record that is one of the best starts in
franchise history, the Red Sox begin a four-game series against the
Yankees on Thursday just a game up on New York in the AL East.

"I know there's some anticipation here, but you've still got to
play the games,'' said White Sox manager Jerry Manuel, who added
that he didn't think the Red Sox were looking past Chicago. "I
wouldn't say the team, but the city. They were quiet and when they
got riled up it was too late.''

The Red Sox have lost two in a row, but Pedro Martinez (6-0)
pitches the opener against the Yankees.

"He's stopped a few two-game losing streaks for us,'' Damon
said.

The White Sox are tied with Minnesota for first place in the AL
Central despite winning for just the fifth time in their last 13
games.

Chicago made it 1-0 in the third when Royce Clayton singled,
took third on Kenny Lofton's single and scored on Ray Durham's
groundout. Durham singled to lead off the sixth, stole second and
scored on Konerko's single through a drawn-in infield.

Game notes
Boston OF Rickey Henderson played in his 3,000th career
game. His next ties Cal Ripken Jr. for seventh place on the
all-time list. ... With his first-inning single, Konerko has reach
base safely in 35 of his last 37 games. ... A girl in the stands
was hit when Trot Nixon's bat flew out of his hands in the eighth
inning. She stayed for the rest of the inning before leaving on her
own. There was no official word on her condition. ... Durham was in
a 1-for-21 slump before singling in his last two at-bats.