Ramirez helps White Sox top GiantsMay 17, 2008 - 7:06 AM By Ryan Leong PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
SAN FRANCISCO (Ticker) -- Even though Alexei Ramirez is batting just .156, his first career home run was the difference in a pitchers' duel.
Ramirez hit a two-run blast in the seventh inning to lead the Chicago White Sox to a 2-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants in the opener of their interleague series Friday.
Ramirez, who defected from Cuba last November, was signed by the White Sox on January 22 and only has four hits in his last 28 at-bats. However, the most important one came on a 1-1 offering from Jonathan Sanchez (2-3), a pitch the 26-year-old deposited over the wall in left field with two outs to snap a scoreless tie.
"I feel very happy, and also this home run helped me out because I'm going to show all the fans in Chicago who Alexei is," Ramirez said through an interpreter. "I work hard to concentrate on this game and I receive a lot of support from my family, and I want to keep it going to help this team."
It was Ramirez's first homer in 45 major league at-bats, including three on Friday.
"He should have more home runs," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "He should have three or four. Maybe he'll hit more in Chicago in the summer. ... He's got some power. He's doing a lot of good things for us, even though he does not have the most playing time."
The blast made a winner of Gavin Floyd (4-2), who limited the Giants to four hits and three walks with three strikeouts in six innings. The righthander, who hit two batters and uncorked a wild pitch, has not allowed an earned run in four of his eight starts this season.
"To be able to make a pitch and get outs is good," Floyd said. "It could have been real ugly otherwise, but I made some pitches and got people out. (I was) trying to get better as the game went on, try to get my focus back and try to get better.
"I found myself in the fifth and sixth inning, started getting my rhythm and tempo and feeling really good. I'm just trying to keep the team in the game and make pitches. It'd be a lot easier if I got ahead, but I'll take the game."
Ehren Wassermann, Boone Logan and Scott Linebrink combined for two scoreless innings before Bobby Jenks worked around a one-out double in the ninth for his ninth save.
"Overall, it was a good performance from our pitching staff, and especially Gavin," White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski said.
Sanchez worked 6 2/3 innings, yielding two runs, five hits and three walks with six strikeouts. It marked the first time the lefthander lasted at least six frames in four starts.
"He pitched great," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "It was a great job and a great effort. It was a changeup that came back down and in (to Ramirez for the homer), but he really pitched well. He had command of all his pitches."
Neither team was able to push across a run over the first six innings, but both threatened.
In the bottom of the first, Fred Lewis walked, stole second and advanced to third on a errant throw by Chicago catcher Pierzynski. But with the infield in, Floyd retired Omar Vizquel on a grounder to first, got Randy Winn on a pop-up and struck out Bengie Molina to escape unscathed.
Molina was the final out in the first, third and fifth innings, each time with a runner in scoring position.
The Giants put runners on the corners with one out in the second, but Jose Castillo grounded into an inning-ending double play.
"When you squander some opportunities, that usually gives the pitcher on the other side a little bit more confidence," Winn said. "And (Floyd) is a guy that's come close to a couple of no-hitters this year, so when you have those opportunities, you need to capitalize on them."
With two outs in the top of the sixth, Pierzynski tripled off the right field wall and Carlos Quentin walked before Sanchez fanned Jermaine Dye.
San Francisco, which has lost three in a row, went 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
CHI WHITE SOX 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 5 1
SAN FRANCISCO 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: CHA - GAVIN FLOYD, EHREN WASSERMANN (7TH), BOONE LOGAN (7TH), SCOTT
LINEBRINK (8TH), BOBBY JENKS (9TH) AND A.J. PIERZYNSKI
SFO - JONATHAN SANCHEZ, BILLY SADLER (7TH
May 17 1:05 AM
AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY ALEXEI RAMIREZ (1) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT
IN THE 7TH OFF JONATHAN SANCHEZ SCORED NICK SWISHER.
CURRENT SCORE: CHI WHITE SOX 2, SAN FRANCISCO 0
DUE UP FOR CHI WHITE SOX: G FLOYD (.000, 0-FOR-2)
White Sox 2, Giants 0 Top 7, 0 OutsMay 17 12:11 AM
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