Shields, solid in the bullpen before Appier was released July
30, got his first win since rejoining the starting rotation as the
Angels beat the Chicago White Sox 5-1.
Helped by Tim Salmon's homer, Shields (3-3) worked a career-high
7 2-3 innings, allowing a run and four hits. It was his second win
in six career starts, and his first in three outings since he was
put back into the rotation.
"Scott is really the guy who forced this opportunity by
pitching so well in relief," manager Mike Scioscia said. "When
you release a guy like Kevin Appier, you know you're replacing him
with a guy you have a lot of confidence in. Scot has the stuff, but
we're going to see if he can maintain it and be a starter. That's
why he's in the rotation now."
The right-hander struck out five, walked none and allowed only
two hits through the first seven innings.
"That's probably the best I've located my off-speed pitch all
year," Shields said. "I was able to get ahead and do what I
wanted from there. I had some strikeouts early in the game, but
then they started realizing that I was throwing strikes and they
started putting the bat on the ball -- but hitting it right at
Scott Spiezio drove in two runs for the Angels, who took three
of four from Chicago. The loss dropped the White Sox two games
behind Kansas City in the AL Central race.
"Their pitching staff is very good, but we just didn't find a
way to score any runs or get any momentum at all," Frank Thomas
said. "We've got offense. We just didn't show up the last four
"To put a rush on the division, we've got to find a way to get
it going every night," Thomas added. "We lost more ground
tonight, and that's not good."
Thomas led off the fourth with a double, but Shields retired his
next 11 batters. Brian Daubach broke the string in the eighth with
a leadoff single, ending an 0-for-23 drought.
"Shields was tough," Thomas said. "This was the first time
I've seen him as a starter. He throws hard, and his ball is
constantly moving. He breaks a lot of bats and he works ahead in
the count, and you're going to be successful doing that."
The White Sox threatened again in the ninth when Brendan
Donnelly gave up a two-out double to Magglio Ordonez and a walk to
Carl Everett. But Troy Percival relieved, getting the final out
when Daubach flied out to the warning track in center field. It was
Percival's 25th save in 26 chances.
The Angels scored a run in each of the first three innings
against Jon Garland (8-9), who lost consecutive starts for the
first time since May 8-17. Garland allowed four runs -- three earned
-- and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings.
Spiezio singled home the first run after a walk to Jeff DaVanon
and a two-out single by Salmon. Adam Kennedy drew a leadoff walk in
the second, advanced on Miguel Olivo's passed ball and scored on a
hard-bouncing single over Garland's glove.
Salmon made it 3-0 with his 16th homer, which gave him five hits
in his first seven career at-bats against Garland.
"The pitch to Salmon was my one mistake of the night," Garland
said. "Salmon's a good hitter and he knew what to do with it. I
was making good pitches, but I had a lot of bad luck."
Roberto Alomar was 1-for-18 with one RBI and five
strikeouts in the series. He entered it hitting .300 in his first
28 games with Chicago since being traded from the New York Mets on
July 1. ... Olivo's passed ball was the ninth by White Sox
catchers, equaling last season's total. ... The White Sox are 5-30
on the West Coast since the start of last season. They have not won
any series in Anaheim, Oakland or Seattle since August 28-30, 2000,
when they took two of three against the Athletics.