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White Sox Tue Aug 10 2010

Garcia Implodes as Sox Drop Opener vs. Twins

SoxLogoSmall.jpegAh yes, this is why the wizened men in the White Sox front office pushed to acquire a starting pitcher at the trading deadline. They wondered how rookie Daniel Hudson would hold up in a pennant race, but they also questioned whether 12-year veteran Freddy Garcia could continue to come through as the fourth starter.

Tuesday night, Garcia gave the men upstairs more cause for concern, exiting after 2.1 abysmal innings as the Sox began the final 50 games of the season with a 12-6 loss to visiting Minnesota. Tied with Chicago at the start of this three-game series -- the first of six games between the two teams in 10 days -- the Twins edged into a one-game lead atop the AL Central Division.

freddy garcia.jpgGarcia really was just atrocious, allowing six runs on eight hits and a walk without striking out a batter. He faced 16 batters; nine reached base. And the Twins, even without concussed slugger Justin Morneau, hit with authority: three home runs and three doubles off Garcia and two more homers off mop-up relievers Tony Pena and Scott Linebrink.

Garcia finished with a miserable game score of 16 -- and the fact that it's only his third-worst score of the season tells you how badly things can go when he's not on his game. A few weeks ago in Oakland he was nearly as bad, allowing five runs in 1.1 innings before getting the hook.

On the other hand, except for those two recent disasters, the 33-year-old right-hander has given the Sox six or seven good innings in 10 of his 11 starts since the last week of May. But it's been feast or famine -- and in a playoff race as tight as any in baseball, Chicago can't afford to give away games so easily.

 
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