Wednesday, August 20, 2008
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Richard earns 1st MLB win as ChiSox blank Mariners

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[August 20, 2008]  CHICAGO (AP) -- Clayton Richard pitched six innings for his first major league win, Nick Swisher and Jim Thome homered, and the Chicago White Sox beat the Seattle Mariners 5-0 Tuesday night.

Ken Griffey Jr. hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly against his former team, and A.J. Pierzynski had three hits as the White Sox won for the seventh time in eight games and maintained a one-game lead over second-place Minnesota in the AL Central.

Richard (1-2), making his fourth major league start, allowed five hits, struck out two and walked one in his first appearance his he was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte on Friday. Picked for the U.S. Olympic team, the 24-year-old left-hander reported to Chicago instead of Beijing when the White Sox purchased his contract from Charlotte on July 21.

He was 0-2 with a 9.64 ERA in three starts and one relief appearance during his first callup, but he dominated against the miserable Mariners.

Richard escaped trouble in the first after his throwing error allowed Ichiro Suzuki to reach second. Miguel Cairo followed with a single, but Nick Swisher fielded Raul Ibanez's grounder to first, stepped on the bag and threw home for a double play.


Richard maintained his poise after leadoff doubles by Adrian Beltre in the fourth and Ibanez in the sixth.

Matt Thornton, Octavio Dotel and Bobby Jenks finished with an inning each.

Felix Hernandez (7-8) lasted just five innings for Seattle. The Mariners have lost five straight and 10 of 12, dropping to an AL-worst 46-79.

Hernandez dropped to 0-2 in his last six starts, giving up five runs, 11 hits and three walks in five innings. He failed to strike out a batter for the first time in 24 starts this season.

Griffey's sacrifice fly in the second was just his fourth RBI since the White Sox acquired him from Cincinnati on July 31. Chicago made it 3-0 in the third on back-to-back doubles by Pierzynski and Carlos Quentin and a run-scoring single by Alexei Ramirez.

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Swisher homered leading off the fourth, connecting for the second straight game, and Thome homered starting the fifth. Chicago has 10 homers in three games and leads the major leagues with 184.

Notes: White Sox 3B Joe Crede, who has been on the DL with a back injury since July 25, was to resume his rehab stint with Triple-A Charlotte on Tuesday. The All-Star appeared in one game for Charlotte, on Aug. 1, before his back flared up again. ... The White Sox lead the season series 4-1 after losing seven of eight to Seattle last year.

[Associated Press; By ANDREW SELIGMAN]

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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