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AL: Chisox hang on to trim K.C. lead

By Times Wires
Published August 6, 2003

CHICAGO - This is uncharted territory for Esteban Loaiza.

Loaiza picked up his third straight win and 14th overall in a 5-4 victory over Kansas City on Tuesday night, giving up two runs in six innings and actually raising his league-leading ERA a fraction to 2.30.

The White Sox right-hander never has pitched this well this late in a season. His career high was 11 wins, and he knows some expect him to fall apart.

Loaiza hopes to keep them quiet another month or two.

"I think there are a lot of doubters out there right now that are biting their tongues because of the way I've been throwing," Loaiza said. "The season is not over yet and I just want to finish the season strong and try and get every win."

Loaiza, who wasn't at his sharpest against Kansas City, struck out seven and helped the White Sox end a three-game skid and climb within two of the Central-leading Royals.

"He didn't really have his best stuff tonight," White Sox manager Jerry Manuel said. "He battled through and gave us six innings. It was a gutsy performance."

Loaiza made the team as a nonroster invitee in spring training with hopes of making the team as a No. 5 starter.

Instead, he has been Chicago's most consistent pitcher, allowing two runs or fewer in 17 of his 23 starts.

He was in command after giving up runs in the first and third. Loaiza struck out Brent Mayne and Aaron Guiel swinging and got Dee Brown on a flyball after the Royals had their leadoff man on second with no outs in the fourth.

"We faced one of the best pitchers this year in Loaiza," Royals manager Tony Pena said. "No question he pitched well, but I'm very happy with how our ballclub played."

RED SOX 10, ANGELS 9: Trot Nixon hit a tiebreaking single off relief ace Brendan Donnelly in the seventh, and host Boston overcame Jeff Suppan's struggles in his return to the Red Sox.

The Red Sox overcame an early 5-0 deficit and sent Anaheim to its third consecutive loss.

Donnelly, who began the game with a major league-best 0.67 ERA, walked Manny Ramirez leading off the seventh. Ramirez took second on a groundout before Kevin Millar struck out. Then Nixon singled.

Donnelly had allowed two earned runs in his first 50 innings this season. But the winning pitcher in this year's All-Star Game has allowed three in 42/3 innings since, including two against Oakland on July 25 when he got his first loss and blown save.

Suppan didn't show his best stuff, either. He was 5-0 in his past six starts with Pittsburgh before joining Boston just before Thursday's trade deadline.

He left this start with the score tied at 7 after five innings, the most runs he has allowed in 22 starts this season. He served up three homers after allowing 11 in 141 innings with Pittsburgh.

MARINERS 2, INDIANS 1: Jamie Moyer became the league's third 15-game winner with seven innings of soft toss, leading visiting Seattle.

Throwing his usual assortment of curves, screwballs, changeups and a not-so-fastball, Moyer allowed one run and three hits to join Oakland's Mark Mulder and Toronto's Roy Halladay for the league lead in victories.

Moyer rarely reached 80 mph on the speed gun, baffling the young Indians.

YANKEES 6, RANGERS 2: Derek Jeter homered in each of the first two innings and Hideki Matsui and Jason Giambi also homered, leading Roger Clemens and host New York.

Jeter hit a leadoff homer in the first and a two-run shot in the second. It was his first multihomer game of the season and fourth of his career.

A'S 7, TIGERS 2: Rookie Rich Harden won again, pitching six strong innings for visiting Oakland. The right-hander, 21, has allowed four runs over 27 innings with 23 strikeouts in three starts since joining the A's July 17.

ORIOLES 3, TWINS 2: Former Devil Rays pitcher Jason Johnson and four relievers combined on a six-hitter and Luis Matos drove in two for Baltimore. The Orioles have won 13 of 16 at Camden Yards.

[Last modified August 6, 2003, 01:33:00]


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