Garcia takes his lumps, White Sox blanked

Garcia takes his lumps, White Sox blanked

CHICAGO -- The Florida Marlins turned Sunday's series-ending contest against the White Sox into their own team-wide home run derby, running away with a 13-0 victory at U.S. Cellular Field and preventing the South Siders from sweeping the weekend series.

Freddy Garcia (3-3), who came into the game sporting a 2.57 career ERA in Interleague Play and a 3-0 record and 3.38 ERA in his past five 2010 starts, left the game after only 2 1/3 innings having surrendered seven runs. 

"I think everything is about pitching," said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen of Garcia setting the tone in the wrong direction. "Freddy came out today and did not have the stuff he's had for the last three or four outings.

"He's pitched well for us, very good for us, but today, he just did not have it. He left a couple balls around the plate, and the [Marlins] came to swing and they did a good job."

Florida went 7-for-14, against Garcia with three home runs, two doubles and two walks.

"Yeah, I don't have any excuse," Garcia said. "I was feeling really good. You guys see. I got hammered. All I can do is look for my next start and try to do my thing. I gave up seven runs and three home runs, whatever. I have to put it in the past and continue to do my job."

The Marlins slugged five home runs in the first six innings. Cody Ross hit two home runs, including a two-run shot to cap a four-run first inning for the Marlins (23-22). Ronny Paulino, Dan Uggla, and Jorge Cantu all went deep. Of the five home runs, three of them were solo shots.

"[Garcia] was just up a little bit," said White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski. "He had trouble putting guys away. He was getting ahead of guys, can't say he wasn't getting ahead. A lot of the hits and home runs came with two strikes. He had one of those days where it just didn't work out."

The Marlins tacked on three more runs in the seventh inning on Gaby Sanchez's two-run double. Sanchez, Uggla and Ross each drove in three runs.

The White Sox bullpen had a string of 20 1/3 scoreless innings snapped when Randy Williams was tagged for a run in the fifth inning. Tony Pena and Scott Linebrink combined to throw four innings of three-hit, seven-strikeout ball. Pena's five strikeouts set a new career high.

In all, the outing represented the most runs, hits, and home runs the White Sox (18-25) have surrendered so far this season.

Marlins starter Josh Johnson (5-1) encountered some early trouble, as the White Sox left the bases loaded in the first inning and left runners on second and third in the second inning. But he was able to escape from both jams without a run scoring. 

Carlos Quentin popped out to first base on the first pitch after Johnson walked Mark Kotsay to load the bases in the first. Pierzynski grounded out to end the second after Juan Pierre's double.

"First inning, we had bases loaded, and we couldn't make anything happen," Guillen said. "First couple innings we had a chance to score some runs, and we couldn't get it."

"He got better as the game went on," said Pierzynski of Johnson. "He started throwing a lot more offspeed pitches, he was throwing them for strikes, and that's gets you off his heater when he's throwing that hard."

In all, the White Sox left 11 runners on base. But the South Siders can still take solace in their fourth series win of the season, finishing off a 2-3 homestand.

The White Sox now embark on a seven-game road trip to Cleveland and St. Petersburg, returning to American League competition Monday at Progressive Field after being unable to extend their third winning streak of the season to match a season high of three straight. Now, they have to remember the Interleague Play positives and forget about Sunday.

"We won a series against a team that is over .500 and they were playing well," Pierzynski said. "We played real nice the first two games and pitched really great and shut them down, but their lineup, you're not going to keep shutting them down. Now it's time to move on."

Louie Horvath is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.