White Sox finish off Angels for AL pennant


first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week White Sox starter Jose Contreras threw the White Sox’s fourth consecutive complete game, getting Casey Kotchman on a grounder to first to end it and setting off a celebration on the field, and certainly on Chicago’s South Side, which hasn’t seen the White Sox in the World Series since 1959. “Enjoy it, enjoy it,” Guillen said, sending a message to fans in Chicago. “I think it’s great, because we proved a lot of people wrong, and I think I like that. We took a lot of beatings this year about my team, and we just keep playing.” It was the first time a club had four consecutive complete games in the postseason since the 1956 Yankees threw five in a row. “I’ll definitely have my White Sox hat on during the World Series,” Angels second baseman Adam Kennedy said. “They’re a pretty good team, they’re fun to play. You can talk about all the controversies, but they take advantage of it. They took advantage of everything they got. Their pitching staff had their way with us. They really put on a display of pitching.” The Angels fell behind 1-0 and 2-1, but in the fifth an RBI double by Chone Figgins and a sacrifice fly by Garret Anderson gave the Angels a 3-2 lead, their first lead since winning Game 1. The offense, though, didn’t put another runner on base the rest of the way, leaving the game in the hands of the bullpen. The White Sox will go to the World Series to play the winner of the Houston-St. Louis matchup in the NLCS starting Saturday in Chicago. The Angels will clean out their lockers today and try to make sense of what happened since winning Game 1 of the series before losing four in a row. White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, who hit .286 with two homers and seven RBI in the series, was named the ALCS MVP. That’s when the Angels were struck by deja vu. Angels pitcher Kelvim Escobar and the White Sox’s A.J. Pierzynski found themselves in the middle of controversy, just like in Game 2 when Pierzynski was ruled safe at first after it appeared he had struck out. This time, there was a runner at first with two outs in the top of the eighth of a 3-3 game when Pierzynski hit a hard grounder back at Escobar, who turned and knocked the ball down with his backside. Escobar scrambled to pick the ball up and appeared to have time to throw to first. Instead, he tried to tag Pierzynski. First-base umpire Randy Marsh ruled Pierzynski out even though it was clear that Escobar tagged him with his glove, while holding the baseball in his bare hand. The Angels entered their dugout while Marsh, homeplate umpire Ed Rapuano and crew chief Jerry Crawford huddled. The umpires agreed to overturn the call, bringing a heated argument from Angels manager Mike Scioscia, to no avail. That brought up Joe Crede, who won Game 2 with an RBI double off Escobar and who homered off Escobar earlier in Sunday’s game. Not about to let history repeat itself, Scioscia replaced Escobar with Francisco Rodriguez, who had not pitched since Game 1 last Tuesday. With the count full, Crede bounced one back up the middle where Kennedy made a diving stop in shallow center field. But with the runners going on the pitch, Kennedy’s desperation throw home was too late to get Aaron Rowand, and the White Sox had a 4-3 lead. “They got the call right,” Scioscia said. “That’s what they get together to do, to get it right, and they got it right.” The White Sox added two runs in the ninth to go up, 6-3. As the White Sox celebrated in the visiting clubhouse within earshot of the Angels’ clubhouse, Angels players were resigned to the idea they were beaten by a better team. “It seemed like they had a game plan against every individual hitter, and they stick with it,” Angels shortstop Orlando Cabrera said. “Even the positioning of their infielders was good. Even if we hit the ball hard, they were right there.” Said Angels first baseman Darin Erstad: “We battled through a lot of stuff this year, and we didn’t get it done. The White Sox have a very good team, I just wish we could have given them our best game. I’d be very surprised if they didn’t win it all.” Scioscia briefly spoke with his team in the clubhouse after the game. “It’s tough to lose, (but) I can’t be disappointed with that group of guys down there because they poured their hearts out on the field,” he said. “I’m proud to be associated with them.” Angels starter Paul Byrd was able to do what John Lackey and Ervin Santana could not do in Games 3 and 4 – get out of the first inning without giving up a run. The White Sox scored three runs in the first inning of both Games 3 and 4, and put two baserunners on with one out Sunday in Game 5. But Byrd got the key hitter, Konerko, on a flyball to right field for the second out. Konerko homered in the first inning of both Games 3 and 4. Byrd then got Carl Everett to get out of the first. The White Sox, however, did get an early run to take the lead. Rowand led off the second inning with a double, was sacrificed to third by Pierzynski and scored on Crede’s sacrifice fly. The Angels tied the score 1-1 in the third when Juan Rivera doubled and scored on Kennedy’s single. The Angels had runners on first and third with two out later in the inning, but Vladimir Guerrero (1 for 20 in the series) grounded into a force play to end the inning. The White Sox took a 2-1 lead and knocked Byrd out of the game in the fifth, getting a double by Juan Uribe and an RBI double by Jermaine Dye. But the Angels scored two in the bottom of the fifth to take their first lead of the night, 3-2. The lead only lasted until the seventh, when Escobar began the inning in place of Scot Shields and immediately found himself facing Crede, who had won Game 2 with his ninth-inning double off Escobar. Escobar got ahead in the count 0-1 before Crede homered to tie the score 3-3. Joe Haakenson, (626) 962-8811 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img ANAHEIM – Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said after his team’s victory in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series he’d rather be lucky than good. Turns out, his White Sox are lucky and good. The White Sox got great pitching, timely hitting and all the breaks throughout their series against the Angels, including in their 6-3 victory Sunday night in Game 5 that closed out the series, four games to one. last_img

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