CHICAGO (AP) -- Oliver Perez figured out something at Triple-A.
Perez pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings and Rod Beck closed for his first save since 2001 as the San Diego Padres defeated the
Chicago White Sox 1-0 Sunday.For the fourth straight series, the Padres faced being swept.
And for the fourth straight series, they salvaged the last game,
with Mark Loretta's single driving in the only run.Perez (2-3), making his first appearance since being promoted
back to the majors, allowed five hits in his longest outing of the
season. He struck out six and walked two.Perez made eight starts for Triple-A Portland before returning
to the Padres. Perez was sent down after struggling with an 8.23
ERA in first six starts of the season."I worked on my mechanics and worked out some kinks in
Portland,'' said Perez. "When I got in some tight spots, the
defense made some good catches."After Luther Hackman got four outs, Beck took over to start the
ninth. He worked around a leadoff walk for his first save since Sept. 20, 2001, when he pitched for Boston and faced Tampa Bay.Beck was able to get Aaron Rowand to pop out on a bunt attempt
for the first out and got Armando Rios to ground into a
double-play."Beck got it down, kept his composure after the leadoff walk
and lucked out with the bunt," said Padres manager Bruce Bochy.
"You have to be excited for him. It's been a long road back."Jon Garland (4-6) took the hard-luck loss, allowing three hits
in eight innings. He struck out four and walked four.Garland didn't allow a hit after the third inning.The Padres scored in the third when Loretta drove in Gary
Matthews Jr.The White Sox finished with seven hits and stranded nine
runners, five in scoring position."We had some opportunities. We just really executed poorly
today, offensively," said White Sox manager Jerry Manuel.Magglio Ordonez led off with a double in the fourth and tried to
score on a two-out single by Joe Crede, but was thrown out by right
fielder Xavier Nady.Rowand led off the fifth with a double and was left on base. He
failed to tag to third on Miguel Olivo's fly out to the warning
track. Mark Kotsay made a running catch at the warning track. Perez
then got Tony Graffanino to fly out and struck out Jose Valentin to
end the inning."I should have tagged,'' said Rowand. "I thought there was no
way he was going to catch it."
Thomas went 0-for-3 for the White Sox. He got a rest from
playing the field and was the DH. In 16 games at first base, Thomas
is batting .386 (22-57) ... Loretta went 1-for-4 and is hitting
.446 in June. He has a nine-game hitting streak. ... The Padres'
pitching staff did not allow a ground ball out until the third out
of the eighth inning.