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White Sox unleash offensive barrage in 20-5 victory
CHICAGO -- Joe Crede and A.J. Pierzynski homered during an 11-run, 12-hit third inning Tuesday night and the Chicago White Sox used their biggest scoring output in a decade to rout the St. Louis Cardinals 20-6.
Pierzynski and Paul Konerko had three RBIs each in the third-inning outburst that featured seven straight hits off Mark Mulder.
Starting with Crede's leadoff double, the White Sox sent 16 batters to the plate in their biggest inning of the season en route to a victory that put them 20 games over .500.
Chicago tacked on six more runs in the sixth, Crede hit his second homer in the seventh and the White Sox finished with seasons highs in runs and hits (24). Crede and Jermaine Dye both had four hits for the White Sox.
It was the first time since May 15, 1996, against Milwaukee that the White Sox had scored 20 runs in a game. Chicago's 24 hits was its most since it had 24 versus Seattle on August 9, 2000.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen and reliever David Riske were ejected in the seventh after Chris Duncan was hit with a pitch. The benches had been warned in the bottom of the sixth after St. Louis reliever Sidney Ponson hit two White Sox batters with the bases loaded.
Duncan hit a two-run homer in the ninth for the Cardinals, who finished with 16 hits.
Mulder (6-5) lasted just 2 1-3 innings -- his shortest outing of the season -- while giving up 10 hits and nine runs.
Brian Anderson followed Crede's double with another one to tie it at 1. After Pablo Ozuna flied out, Tadahito Iguchi, Jim Thome, Konerko and Dye singled in succession. Pierzynski followed with a three-run homer, Juan Uribe singled and then Crede connected on his 11th homer to finally finish Mulder and make it 9-1.
Ozuna and Iguchi singled and Thome walked, loading the bases off reliever Brad Thompson before Konerko delivered a two-run single.
Uribe added a two-run homer in the fourth. He also had an RBI single in the sixth off Ponson, who then hit Anderson and Ozuna with bases-loaded pitches to make it 16-2.
Guillen came out of the dugout to check on Ozuna and then argued with the umpires after a warning was issued to both benches. Minutes later, Ponson was removed from the game by manager Tony La Russa.
Ross Gload had a two-run single off Tyler Johnson to make it 19-2.
The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI single by Juan Encarnacion off Javier Vazquez (8-4). Vazquez allowed seven hits and two runs in six innings, improving his career record against the Cardinals to 2-6.
Chicago's victory came on the 20th anniversary of La Russa's firing as White Sox's manager, three seasons after taking them to 99 wins and a division title.
"1986 was just unworkable," La Russa said before the game.
He was fired by general manager Ken "Hawk" Harrelson, now the team's TV broadcaster. Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who remains a close friend of La Russa's, has called La Russa's firing one of the biggest mistakes he ever made.
La Russa managed for the first time Tuesday against Guillen, who was the 1985 AL Rookie of the Year with La Russa as his first big league manager.
Notes: Mulder, a native of suburban South Holland, Ill., is now 5-2 in his career against the White Sox. In his last six starts, Mulder has given up 51 hits and 35 earned run in 27 2-3 innings. ... The White Sox last collected seven straight hits in an inning on July 19, 2003, against the Tigers. ... Albert Pujols hit in the batting cage, took grounders and ran hard in the outfield before the game, preparing for his return to the Cardinals' lineup. He has been out since June 3 with a strained oblique muscle. ... The White Sox signed first-round pick Kyle McCulloch, a right-handed pitcher from the University of Texas. ... A crowd of 39,463 was the White Sox's 16th sellout of the season.