Thomson helps Texas avoid series sweep


CHICAGO (AP) -- John Thomson threw a four-hitter to win his fifth
straight decision and Hank Blalock hit a two-run homer Sunday as
the Texas Rangers avoided a four-game sweep with a 5-0 win over the
Chicago White Sox.

Thomson (12-10) didn't allow a runner to reach second until
there were two outs in the ninth when Magglio Ordonez moved Carlos Lee over with his second hit. Thomson threw 107 pitches -- 77 for
strikes -- in his third complete game of the season. His last came
May 18 in a 5-1 win over the New York Yankees. He struck out six
and walked one.

The five straight wins are a career high for Thomson, who hasn't
lost since July 22 at Baltimore -- seven starts.

The loss snapped a six-game winning streak for Chicago, which
remained a game up on Kansas City in the AL Central. The Royals
lost 8-1 to the Minnesota Twins, who moved within 1½ games of the
White Sox.

The Rangers had won eight in a row coming into the series,
including a three-game sweep of Chicago last weekend at Texas,
before dropping the first three games of the series.

Jon Garland (9-10) was almost as sharp as Thomson. He had a
career-high 10 strikeouts and gave up just three runs and five
hits in seven-plus innings. He was removed after Donnie Sadler led
off the eighth with a single.

Texas scored two times in the third when Todd Greene singled and
Blalock followed three batters later by hitting the first pitch
from Garland into the seats in right field. It was his 23rd homer.

The Rangers added three runs in the eighth on a bases-loaded
double by Mark Teixeira off reliever Scott Sullivan. Teixeira hit a
ball into the gap in left-center and went to third when left
fielder Lee misplayed the ball. Lee was charged with an
error. Texas loaded the bases on Sadler's single, and an
intentional walk to Alex Rodriguez and a walk to Rafael Palmeiro.

Game notes
Blalock hit a pinch-hit homer to win the All-Star Game at U.S. Cellular Field. ... The White Sox trailed Kansas City by seven games at the All-Star break but had the majors' best second-half record going into Sunday at 24-12.