ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Joaquin Benoit planned to celebrate his
first career win by taking a long nap. He earned it.
Called up by the Texas Rangers as a late fill-in starter, Benoit
got less than three hours of sleep before allowing one run and four
hits over six innings in a 4-1 win over the Chicago White Sox on
"I'm going back to my hotel room and get some sleep," Benoit
said. "But it didn't do a lot of damage I guess. I got a win."
Benoit (1-0) retired the last 10 batters he faced, but left
after 105 pitches. He struck out three and walked three.
"In the first couple of innings, I was trying to do too much,
but those last three innings, I was getting my energy back,"
Benoit said. "As the game went on, I got more consistent in my
Benoit was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma after Ismael Valdes
was scratched because of stiffness in his back.
Instead of pitching for the RedHawks as scheduled Thursday, the
22-year-old right-hander spent most of the night getting to Texas
for his second major league start.
"He walked into the clubhouse about 9:30 this morning right off
the plane," said Rangers manager Jerry Narron. "He got outs when
he needed to. I would have liked his command to be a little better,
but it's all about getting outs."
Ortiz, the backup catcher to Bill Haselman while 10-time
All-Star Ivan Rodriguez is on the disabled list, homered in the
second inning -- in his 250th career at-bat -- to tie the game at 1.
That came in the same inning he prevented a run with a defensive
"It was a great day," Ortiz said. "We got a good pitching
performance from Joaquin and the bullpen and I came up with my
first homer. I can't ask for more than that."
In the top of the second, Ortiz had to come off the plate to
catch a relay throw from Alex Rodriguez. Paul Konerko, trying to
score from first on Carlos Lee's double, slid to the inside but
Ortiz made a sweeping tag to keep Konerko from touching the plate.
"I thought I was going to have it at the plate," Konerko said.
Lee scored on Mark Johnson's RBI single, but that was the only
run allowed by a quartet of Texas pitchers.
Irabu came on for his eighth save in nine chances. Irabu is 1-0
with seven saves his last eight appearances. The Rangers retired
the final 19 batters after Magglio Ordonez's two-out single in the
"They had our number," White Sox manager Jerry Manuel said.
Todd Ritchie (3-3), who hasn't allowed more than three earned
runs in any of his eight starts, allowed three runs and eight hits
in 6 1/3 innings. Ritchie is 0-3 in day games.
Rusty Greer's two-out RBI single in the third gave Texas a 2-1
lead. That scored Young, who led off with a single before a stolen
base and a wild pitch.
Gabe Kapler's sacrifice fly in the eighth made it 4-1. It was
his fourth RBI in four games after driving in one in his first 24
The Rangers turned an impressive double play after Kenny
Lofton's leadoff walk in the third. Rodriguez stabbed Ray Durham's
grounder up the middle and used a backhanded flip to get to the
ball to Young, who made a barehanded grab as he tagged second
before throwing to first.
Haselman got the day off after starting for the 19th time in 21
games the previous night. It was just the fourth appearance in
Texas for the 32-year-old Ortiz, who played in 86 games for Kansas
City from 1998-2001 but was in the minors when the Rangers acquired
him April 26.
The White Sox missed a chance to tie idle Minnesota for
first place in the AL Central. They are still 21-14, a seven-game
improvement over the same point last year. ... Chicago's Jose
Valentin had a seven-game hitting streak snapped. He was 0-for-3
with two strikeouts. ... Benoit was the 15th pitcher used by Texas
this season, and the eighth to start a game. ... In his other major
league start, last Aug. 8 in a 19-6 loss against Detroit, Benoit
gave up six runs and eight hits -- including three homers -- and left
with the game tied 6-6.
The Rangers pitcher, who turns 45 today, has changed quite a bit since breaking into the big leagues with the Indians in 1997.
He's pitched for 11 teams over 21 seasons, winning 242 games and a Cy Young -- but there's so much more to "Big Sexy" than mere numbers.
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Oakland Athletics right-hander Josh Lucas will make his first big-league start against a legend Thursday afternoon when the Seattle Mariners send ace Felix Hernandez to the mound in the finale of the three-game series.
Marco Gonzales allowed two hits in seven innings in the longest start of his career, and the Seattle Mariners scored their only run on an error in a 1-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night.
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