Moehler came off the disabled list to win for the first time in
nearly 22 months, pitching Detroit to a 5-4 victory over the
Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night. ''It's been a long time coming. It's what I was waiting for''
said Moehler, who hadn't pitched in the majors since the opening
week of the 2001 season as recovered from a torn rotator cuff and
labrum. ''It's unbelievable to think that a year ago (Thursday) was my
surgery,'' Moehler said. ''I was in the hospital with my wife,
watching Fourth of July fireworks.'' One night after the White Sox hit six homers and scored 17 runs,
Moehler (1-0) held Chicago to four hits in seven scoreless innings.
He struck out three and walked none to win for the first time since
Sept. 5, 2000. ''Smoke and mirrors, I don't know,'' Moehler said. ''Surgery
might have taken a few miles off my fastball, but I still remember
how to pitch.'' Chris Truby homered and drove in three runs to lead the Tigers,
who had lost 10 of 12. Truby said Moehler's performance was inspiring. ''It's the lift this team needed,'' Truby said. ''It was
remarkable, after all the rehab. He just went out and pitched.'' The White Sox scored four runs in the ninth off Juan Acevedo.
Jose Valentin hit a two-run homer and Carlos Lee hit a solo shot.
Jose Paniagua came on with a man on second and two outs and allowed
an infield single to Royce Clayton before retiring Kenny Lofton on
a flyout to center for his first save. ''Sandy (Alomar) stopped at third and told me 'This is
unbelievable.' I told him that he wasn't even on the defensive end
of it,'' Truby said. White Sox designated hitter Frank Thomas was ejected in the
bottom of the sixth for arguing a called third strike. He went
0-for-3 to drop his average to .242. ''Frank is in a rut, and is not in position to swing at those
(inside) balls,'' White Sox manager Jerry Manuel said. ''He and
(batting coach) Gary Ward will try to work it out.'' In the third, Truby hit the first pitch from Gary Glover (3-4)
to center for his second AL homer. An inning later, Truby hit a two-run single to make it 3-0,
although Truby was out at second trying to stretch the hit to a
double. In the sixth, Thomas took a close 3-2 pitch on the inside corner
that Laz Diaz immediately called a strike. Thomas became incensed
and was ejected after a few seconds of arguing. With a man on and one out in the seventh, the Tigers' Ramon
Santiago fouled a ball off his right leg and had to leave the game.
Shane Halter inherited a full count, and after fouling off a pitch,
he drew a walk to chase Glover. Damion Easley greeted Matt Ginter with an RBI single to right.
With runners at the corners, Dmitri Young grounded into an
inning-ending double play. Glover allowed four runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings. Chicago's best chance to score came in the seventh, when Paul
Konerko came within about six inches of hitting a homer to center. Konerko settled for a double and Moehler got the last two outs
of the inning, pounding his fist in his glove after Carlos Lee
field out. ''Obviously we had a tough one out there tonight,'' Lee said.
''He never gave in, even when he was behind.'' Halter hit an RBI single in the ninth to make it 5-0.
The temperature at game time was 93 degrees. ... It was
Truby's first homer since May 30. ... It was the sixth career
ejection for Thomas and the first since 1999. ... X-rays were
negative on Santiago, who has a bruised right knee and is
day-to-day. ... It was Moehler's first win against the White Sox
since May 1998.