White Sox 9, Angels 1

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CHICAGO – Jim Thome hit a three-run homer and finished with four RBIs to help the Chicago White Sox beat the Los Angeles Angels 9-1.

Scott Podsednik reached base five times, scored three runs and robbed Tim Salmon of a home run leading off the seventh as the White Sox won for the ninth time in 11 games. Joe Crede and Jermaine Dye also hit solo homers.

The Angels have lost 10 of their last 12 games. They have only three runs and 11 hits in their last three games, all losses.

Freddy Garcia (5-1) won his fifth straight decision, allowing a run in eight innings. He gave up five hits – four for extra bases – in the first three innings, but retired his final 16 batters.

Kevin Gregg (2-1) allowed seven runs and nine hits in 2 2-3 innings in his second start for Los Angeles. He allowed a run in the first and came apart in the third, when the White Sox sent up 12 batters and scored a season-high six runs.

After one-out singles by Podsednik and Tadahito Iguchi, Thome hit the first pitch from Gregg about halfway up the stands in right for his 14th homer and a 4-1 lead. Thome finished with three hits.

After Paul Konerko flied to center, Dye homered just inside the right-field foul pole on a 3-1 pitch. It was the seventh home run for Dye, who had not played since leaving the game at Cleveland on May 2 with a tight left calf.

A.J. Pierzynski doubled and scored on Crede’s single to make it 6-1. After another single by Juan Uribe, Gregg hit Brian Anderson to load the bases. Esteban Yan relieved and hit Podsednik before striking out Iguchi.

Uribe broke a 5-for-48 skid with three hits, including two doubles.

For Gregg, it was a sharp contrast from his previous outing, when he held Detroit to a run in seven innings. But for the Angels, it was more of the same against the White Sox. Their freefall started with a three-game sweep by Chicago in Anaheim late last month.

The White Sox continued to roll, even though the defending World Series champions suffered a significant loss before the game when right-hander Jose Contreras went on the 15-day disabled list with a pinched nerve in his right leg.

Perhaps baseball’s best pitcher this season at 5-0 with a major league-low 1.41 ERA, Contreras will miss at least two starts. The White Sox hope to have him back for their three-game series against the crosstown rival Cubs beginning May 19.

Notes: Iguchi has a nine-game hitting streak. … Los Angeles’ Juan Rivera, activated from the DL on Monday, ended an 0-for-11 slump with a single leading off the second. … Angels 1B Casey Kotchman, recovering from a virus, went on the 15-day disabled list and IF Dallas McPherson was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake on Tuesday. … The Angels were awaiting the results of an MRI on Darin Erstad’s sore right ankle. He went on the DL on Monday.

AP-ES-05-09-06 2246EDT

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