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Pierzynski hits walk-off homer



Published: Sat, September 9, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



The White Sox pulled out the 7-6 victory over the Tribe.

CHICAGO (AP) -- A.J. Pierzynski hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning after Chicago closer Bobby Jenks blew a save by giving up four straight doubles in the top half, and the White Sox rallied past the Cleveland Indians 7-6 Friday night.

The wild victory kept the White Sox a half-game behind Minnesota in the AL wild-card race and moved third-place Chicago within 4 1/2 games of AL Central-leading Detroit.

Paul Konerko singled for his fourth hit to start the ninth and Pierzynski connected on an 0-2 pitch from reliever Tom Mastny (0-1).

Pierzynski pumped his fist and flipped his helmet in the air after rounding third base before being mobbed at the plate by teammates.

Tribe rallies for lead

Pinch-hitter Casey Blake, Andy Marte, Grady Sizemore and Jason Michaels hit consecutive doubles off Jenks as the Indians turned a 5-3 deficit into a 6-5 lead in a span of seven pitches to start the ninth.

Alex Cintron's RBI single in the eighth put Chicago ahead 5-3, and the White Sox turned the game over to Jenks, who had an MRI on his sore hip Tuesday after blowing a save Monday night in Boston. The test revealed no structural damage.

Marte made it 5-4 with a drive to right-center and Sizemore tied the game with a blooper down the left-field line.

Michaels hit a hard grounder down the first-base line for Cleveland's fourth straight double and Jenks was replaced by Matt Thornton (5-2), who finally ended the rally.

It was Jenks' fourth blown save in 43 chances.

Uribe ends slump

Juan Uribe, in an 0-for-21 skid, homered and had two hits for the White Sox. His 17th homer leading off the fifth tied the score at 2. Konerko delivered a two-out single in the inning to put the White Sox ahead 3-2.

Uribe started another rally in the sixth with a two-out single, stole second and scored when Scott Podsednik -- in a 3-for-26 slump -- hit an RBI single for a 4-2 lead to finish Indians starter Paul Byrd.

The Indians cut the lead to one in the seventh when Victor Martinez hit a two-out RBI single off Mike MacDougal.

Chicago starter Freddy Garcia gave up six hits, three runs with four walks and a season-high eight strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings.

In the fifth, Sizemore walked, went to second on Garcia's errant pickoff attempt and stole third. After Michaels walked, Martinez hit a hard shot to first that Konerko knocked down from his knees. He tagged the bag as Sizemore scored for a 2-1 lead.

Byrd gave up nine hits and four runs in 5 2-3 innings. He gave up consecutive singles to Jermaine Dye, Jim Thome, Konerko and Pierzynski that tied the score at 1 in the fourth.

Sizemore tripled to start the third and, after a one-out walk to Martinez, Ryan Garko singled in the game's first run.




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