Padilla outdueled in Chicago finale
Texas starter gives up four runs, one earned, in seven innings
CHICAGO -- White Sox pitcher Jon Garland couldn't hit a Rangers batter when deliberately ordered to by manager Ozzie Guillen.But the Rangers had trouble all day hitting him as well. Garland got royally chewed out by Guillen for missing Ian Kinsler with two pitches in the top of the fourth inning. But he ultimately mollified the manager by pitching the White Sox to a 5-0 victory over the Rangers at U.S. Cellular Field on Sunday. The Rangers managed just six hits off Garland and reliever Matt Thornton, and did not get a batter past second base until the ninth inning. The loss left the Rangers 6-5 on the concluded 11-game road trip, but they still return home just a half-game out of first place in the American League West. "It was a great road trip," said interim manager Don Wakamatsu, who ran the club while Buck Showalter was hospitalized with dehydration and a slightly irregular heartbeat. "You'd like to go home on a win, but we're still in pretty good shape." Rangers starter Vicente Padilla, who angered Guillen by hitting Alex Cintron with a pitch in the third inning, had a four-game winning streak snapped despite allowing just three hits over seven innings. Padilla allowed four runs, but only one was earned because an error by second baseman Ian Kinsler led the way to three unearned runs in the fifth. The big blow was a two-run home run by Tadahito Iguchi that gave the White Sox a 4-0 lead. "[Garland] was great," catcher Rod Barajas said. "He was doing what he was doing the past month and a half, establishing his fastball and mixing in his breaking ball. He was a ground ball away from going seven or eight innings and allowing just one run." Padilla also did what Guillen warned him not to do three days ago, and hit a batter. Guillen, still upset that Padilla hit A.J. Pierzynski twice on June 14, warned Padilla through the media that there would be trouble if he did. Padilla does not talk to the media, but gave an interview Saturday to La Prensa, a Nicaraguan newspaper, and denied he tried to hit Pierzynski a month ago.
"There was nothing personal with Pierzynski, nor with anybody," Padilla said. "I wouldn't be able to throw with such precision to hit him. I don't know they gave the sense to the media and talked about a rivalry. I only wanted to get outs, period."
Padilla started the inning by giving up an infield single to Rob Mackowiak, then hit Cintron with a fastball on the right thigh."It was just a fastball inside," Barajas said. "That was our plan with Cintron, we talked about pitching him inside. The second at-bat, we went away and he got a single. The third at-bat, we came inside with two fastballs and a slider and punched him out." As far as hitting Cintron deliberately, Wakamatsu said, "I'm sure he didn't have that in mind. There was a runner at first base. It cost him a run. He didn't intentionally hit him." Guillen didn't see it that way and was hardly mollified by a bunt and grounder that gave the White Sox a 1-0 lead. Kinsler led off the fourth and Garland threw his first two pitches behind Kinsler in a futile attempt to retaliate. "I was real clear," Guillen said. "I am a man of my word. I said, 'If something happens, we would retaliate.' I have to protect my players." Home-plate umpire Randy Marsh immediately put a stop to it by warning both benches, and there were no further incidents. "I knew somebody was going to get hit," Kinsler said. "Ozzie was upset about Cintron getting hit. That was part of the game. I knew, going into the at-bat, they were going to hit me. I just sat there and waited for it. There's no doubt they were trying to hit me." This all started in Arlington on June 14, when Padilla hit Pierzynski twice in one game. Guillen was mad that night and ordered pitcher Sean Tracey to retaliate. Tracey was unable to comply. Tracey was sent to the Minor Leagues after the game. Garland is not going anywhere, but after he missed with the second pitch, Guillen went to the mound and scolded him severely for missing Kinsler. "I know Ozzie," Garland said. "I know how he is. It's just one of those things."
The Rangers didn't seem to take exception that Garland threw not once, but twice, behind his back."You kind of figured something was coming," outfielder Mark DeRosa said. "I thought Randy Marsh did a great job," Wakamatsu said. "Each manager is responsible to his own ballclub. To each his own. Ozzie is Ozzie. He handled it the best way he can." Garland did the rest.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.