Vazquez, Thome lift White Sox to 7th win in nine games

" Turning point: Jim Thome broke open a one-run game in the fourth inning when he hit a three-run homer, his 12th of the season.

" Figure this: It was Vazquez's first complete game since Sept. 5 of last season in a road loss to the Red Sox.

-- ESPN.com news services

White Sox 5, Orioles 1

CHICAGO (AP) -- Opposing scouts are descending on the White Sox like planes at O'Hare, so Javier Vazquez realizes his time in Chicago could be winding down.

He's either going out in style or making a strong pitch to stay.

Vazquez threw his 21st career complete game and Jim Thome hit a three-run homer to lift the Chicago White Sox to a 5-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night.

The White Sox won for the seventh time in nine games, and rebounded from a meltdown by their bullpen the previous night in a 7-6 loss.

"We have a nice thing going on right now, we've won a few games," Vazquez said.

Although Vazquez was talking about this recent spurt, he summed up the White Sox's problem -- they've won a few games. At 36-44, they've won far fewer than they anticipated, which explains the trade rumors surrounding the team.

Most have centered on Mark Buehrle, but just about everyone is probably available.

"They should know there are some people looking at them," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "At least we have people still looking at us, and they should feel good about it."

When he signed a $34.5 million, three-year extension in March, Vazquez did it with the idea of sticking around after bouncing from Montreal to the New York Yankees and Arizona.

"It's that time of the year," Vazquez said. "I've been in the league 10 years, so I know how it goes. I've been traded a few times. ... Everybody's name is going to be out there, and we've got to get used to it."

On Tuesday, he delivered his first complete game since a road loss to the Red Sox last Sept. 5.

Vazquez (5-5) limited the Orioles to four hits and retired the final 16 batters while winning his second straight start. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter, after consecutive outings against the Cubs and Tampa Bay in which he held both teams to one run in seven innings.

He got the win against the Devil Rays after going 1-5 in his previous 12 starts, and he made one mistake on Tuesday, which Kevin Millar drove to the left-field seats leading off the second inning.

"It was his night," Millar said. "He threw a good game."

Thome broke open a one-run game with two outs in the fourth inning when he hit his 12th homer, making it 5-1.

Baltimore starter Daniel Cabrera (6-9) lasted six innings, even though he was wild and dodged several big rallies early on. He allowed five runs and six hits, struck out four while walking five and hitting a batter.

The White Sox got a run in the first but stranded two runners. They left two more on in a scoreless second, and scored once in the third after loading the bases with none out. But they finally got the big hit in the fourth.

Josh Fields lined a double off the left-field wall leading off, and Tadahito Iguchi walked with two out, bringing up Thome. He drove an 0-1 pitch about 414 feet to left-center, his second homer in as many games and the 484th of his career.

"I mean goodness sakes, if we dodge that one we think we have a horse shoe in our pocket and were going to win it again," Orioles interim manager Dave Trembley said. "But it didn't happen."

That gave the White Sox breathing room after a deflating loss on Monday in which Baltimore scored five runs in the final two innings, spoiling a fine start by Buehrle.

With the score tied 1-1, the White Sox were poised to pull away in the third but settled for just one run after Thome and Paul Konerko led off with walks and A.J. Pierzynski singled to load the bases. Thome scored on Jermaine Dye's double play, but a potential big inning turned into a big whimper.

Vazquez, meanwhile, continued to avoid the big rallies that have hurt him in the past.

"Composure, strikes," Pierzynski said, listing the changes he's noticed in the pitcher. "Something bad happens, like the early home run, he doesn't just completely lose it. He battled back."

Game notes
The White Sox had lost six straight at home. ... Fields made a highlight-reel play in the third when he leaned into the stands to catch Brandon Fahey's foul ball. ... Chicago placed OF Scott Podsednik on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained left rib cage muscle and recalled OF Jerry Owens from Triple-A Charlotte. Owens, starting in center field, singled leading off the first and stole second. ... LHP Garrett Olson will be called up from Triple-A Norfolk on Wednesday and make his first major league start in place of the injured RHP Steve Trachsel. ... 3B Melvin Mora was out of the starting lineup for a second straight game with a bruise on the instep of his left foot.