<
>

Chicago posts biggest shutout win in 15 seasons

4/6/2002

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Facing one of his favorite pitchers in
one of his favorite parks, Magglio Ordonez had every reason to
expect a banner day.

Nobody could foresee the way the rest of Chicago's bats would
also jump to life, however, in a 14-0 drubbing of Kansas City on
Saturday.

"Sooner or later I have to start hitting," said Ordonez, who
was 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBI in Chicago's biggest
shutout win since a 17-0 victory over Cleveland in 1987.

"I'm feeling good. My rhythm is back," said Ordonez, who also
scored four runs.

Ordonez, who has 27 RBI in 26 games in Kauffman Stadium, never
seems to lose his rhythm against Chad Durbin (0-1). He's 12-for-17
lifetime against Durbin with 11 RBI.

"I don't know -- sometimes you face a pitcher, you just get
pitches to hit and get good swings," he said.

Paul Konerko also drove in three runs and Mark Buehrle (2-0)
went six shutout innings and raised his career record to 5-0
against Kansas City. The Royals were handed their worst shutout
loss since falling 17-0 to Detroit in 1991.

Sandy Alomar went 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs and Tony
Graffanino and Carlos Lee added two RBI apiece for the White Sox,
who had lost three straight.

Miguel Ascencio had a horrible major league debut for the
Royals. Starting the eighth with his team trailing 9-0, the
21-year-old right-hander threw 16 straight balls and not a single
strike, forcing in a run when he walked Ordonez.

"He was trying to throw the ball 3,000 mph," Royals manager
Tony Muser said. "The kid was extremely nervous."

Ascencio missed all over the place -- high, low, inside, outside.
Only a couple of pitches even came near the plate. But he denied he
had butterflies.

"I am ready," he said. "I was overthrowing. It's not the way
I pitch."

Even the White Sox were starting to wince for him.

"We couldn't believe it was happening," Buehrle said. "We
were actually feeling sorry for the guy even though he was walking
our guys and we were scoring runs. You never want to see a guy do
that bad."

After walking his fourth straight batter, Ascencio was relieved
by Cory Bailey, who drew sarcastic cheers when he finally threw a
strike on a 3-0 pitch to the next hitter, Konerko.

But Konerko walked on the next pitch anyway, making it 11-0 and
then Graffanino hit a two-run single and Royce Clayton hit a
sacrifice fly. The White Sox sent 10 men to the plate in the inning
but had only three official at-bats.

"I've never seen that before," Chicago manager Jerry Manuel
said.

Buehrle, who has both of Chicago's wins this season, gave up
five hits and struck out four. In nine career appearances against
the Royals, the 23-year-old left-hander has a 2.18 ERA in 41 1-3
innings.

Durbin (0-1) gave up four runs in the first inning and wound up
allowing seven runs and eight hits in 4 1-3 innings.

Ordonez had an RBI single in the first and led off the third
with his first homer. Konerko had a two-run double in the first and
scored on Lee's RBI single.

Alomar hit his first home run leading off the fourth and had an
RBI single in the seventh. In the fifth, Jose Valentin had an RBI
double and Lee a run-scoring single.

Game notes
Frank Thomas popped out to first baseman Dave McCarty his
first three at-bats and reached on a pop single into shallow right
on his fourth. ... The victory enabled the White Sox to avoid a
repeat of last year's 1-4 start. ... Buehrle is 15-3 in his career
on the road. ... Kenny Lofton made a fine running catch of Brandon
Berger's sinking liner into shallow center in the seventh. ...
Reliever Jeremy Affeldt also made his major league debut for the
Royals, going two innings and giving up two hits and one run.