CHICAGO – A.J. Pierzynski’s two-run homer capped a four-run rally in the ninth inning, and the Chicago White Sox beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 Saturday night to win their third straight.

Carl Everett and Aaron Rowand had RBI singles in the ninth off Dodgers closer Yhency Brazoban, who is filling in for injured Eric Gagne. The loss was a season-high fifth straight for Los Angeles, and it spoiled an impressive return by Elmer Dessens.

Dessens, who hadn’t pitched since April 19 because of a bone spur in his right shoulder, gave up only an unearned run and two hits in six innings, striking out four and walking one. Duaner Sanchez pitched two scoreless innings to preserve the lead, but Brazoban (2-2) couldn’t hold it.

Tadahito Iguchi drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on Frank Thomas’ groundout. He scored one out later on Everett’s RBI single to right. Everett was replaced by pinch-runner Willie Harris, who quickly stole second. Rowand followed with a bouncer up the middle to score Harris and tie the game at 3.

Pierzynski worked Brazoban to a full count, and it looked as if the game was headed to extra innings when he hit a pop up down the first-base line. But the ball was just out of Hee-Seop Choi’s reach, and Pierzynski got another chance. He didn’t disappoint, homering to left-center for his 10th of the year and setting off raucous cheers among the crowd of 36,067 who’d turned out to honor the 1959 “Go-Go Sox.”

It was Brazoban’s third blown save in 14 chances. Cliff Politte (4-0) got the victory with a scoreless inning.

Though Dessens hadn’t pitched in two months, he handcuffed the Dodgers. He retired his first six batters and allowed only one runner past first base. Pierzynski reached on an error to start the third inning, went to third on Joe Crede’s single and scored on Juan Uribe’s groundout. Dessens gave up just one hit after that.

Freddy Garcia wasn’t nearly as sharp, giving up six hits and three runs, throwing three wild pitches and walking a season-high six.

He walked leadoff hitter Antonio Perez on four pitches. Garcia retired his next two batters, but Jeff Kent sent a 1-1 pitch into the left-field stands to give Los Angeles a 2-0 lead. It was Kent’s 14th homer, most in the majors for a second baseman.

Garcia walked the next three batters, loading the bases, but escaped when Mike Edwards popped up. The four walks in the first inning topped Garcia’s previous high for a game this year.

He worked out of another jam in the fourth, walking Oscar Robles to load the bases with one out. But Garcia retired Perez on a popup, and got Jayson Werth to ground out to end the inning.

Notes: Dodgers CF J.D. Drew made a dazzling catch in the sixth inning, running full speed with his back to the plate to rob Scott Podsednik of a hit. … Chicago’s Paul Konerko went 0-for-4, snapping his season-high 13-game hitting streak.

AP-ES-06-18-05 2213EDT


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