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Thomas smacks two of White Sox's five homers

7/20/2003

CHICAGO (AP) -- Esteban Loaiza completed a memorable six-day
stretch with another stellar performance.

Loaiza won his career-high 12th game Sunday in his first game
since starting the All-Star Game in his home stadium, leading the
Chicago White Sox to a 10-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

Loaiza pitched two scoreless innings for the AL on Tuesday night
and then won in a game that counted in the standings. It's been
quite a turnaround for a pitcher who came to spring training as a
non-roster invitee.

"It's outstanding, just coming from the All-Star Game to
today," Loaiza said. "I just got to keep battling and go for my
13th win and go on from there."

Loaiza got plenty of support against the Tigers. Chicago had 16
hits and five home runs, including two by Frank Thomas.

Tony Graffanino, starting in place of second baseman Roberto
Alomar, had a triple and two doubles; Magglio Ordonez was 3-for-3
with a home run; and Paul Konerko also had three hits and a homer.

"The guys put some good swings on (Detroit pitcher Wilfredo
Ledezma)," Chicago manager Jerry Manuel said. "The ball's jumping
when it gets hot and humid here."

Loaiza (12-5) gave up five hits and one run in seven innings in
his first appearance since the All-Star Game. He struck out seven
and walked one to snap a three-game losing streak.

"He's been a different pitcher since he came over to this squad
this year," Detroit's Dmitri Young said of Loaiza, who won 11
games in 1997 and 2001 and played for Toronto last year.

"He is pitching like he knows that he is going to get you out.
That's probably the biggest difference that I have seen."

The White Sox have won three straight against Detroit since
Manuel predicted Friday they would sweep their remaining games
against the Tigers. The teams play three more times in Detroit on
Aug. 29-31.

Ledezma (3-3), making just his third major league start for
Detroit, was battered for seven runs and 12 hits in 3 2/3 innings.

A solo home run by Eric Munson in the fifth was Detroit's only
run.

The White Sox put two on the board in the first when Graffanino
led off with a triple and scored on Aaron Rowand's sacrifice fly. Thomas followed with a home run.

The Sox scored twice more in the third on another Thomas solo
shot and an RBI single from Konerko. Thomas came into the game in a
6-for-43 slump (.140).

In the fourth, Thomas had an RBI single and Ordonez followed
with a drive to deep center for his 18th homer on the year.

Ledezma was removed following the Ordonez blast. The 22-year-old
had been coming out of the bullpen most of the season, and going
into Sunday's game was second among AL rookies in ERA (3.12) and
third in batting average against (.238).

Konerko and Jose Valentin added solo home runs in the fifth off
Steve Avery. Miguel Olivo scored from first on Rowand's single to
left when Young misplayed the ball for one of three Tigers errors.

Game notes
Thomas has 90 career first-inning homers and 22 multihomer games in his career. ... Young left the game in the seventh inning
with a mild sprain of his right ankle.