Garland looks to ace tough Boston test

Garland looks to ace tough Boston test

Facing a knuckleball pitcher, such as Tim Wakefield, is an almost non-existent challenge for Major League teams. It usually becomes a hit-or-miss situation.

If Wakefield's knuckler is dancing, you aren't going to get many hits. If that same pitch flattens out, then Wakefield becomes very tough to miss. Both scenarios played out when the White Sox faced Wakefield on July 22 at U.S. Cellular Field.

Wakefield was perfect through 10 hitters, before Aaron Rowand launched a fourth-inning home run. By the time the sixth inning was completed, the White Sox had scored seven times and Wakefield had left the game. Juan Uribe and A.J. Pierzynski also homered off of Wakefield.

Jon Garland opposes Wakefield for the second time this season. The White Sox right-hander looks to become the Majors' first 17-game winner and, in the process, pick up his second win this season against the Red Sox. Garland allowed two runs on seven hits over 6 2/3 innings on the same night that Wakefield was roughed up.

Johnny Damon touched Garland for a home run on that night, while David Ortiz, Gabe Kapler and Manny Ramirez have two home runs apiece when facing Garland. Ramirez is 7-for-12 lifetime against Garland, with five RBIs.

Pitching matchup
CWS: RHP Jon Garland
• 16-5, 3.29 ERA in 2005
• 1-0, 2.70 ERA in 2005 vs. BOS

BOS: RHP Tim Wakefield
• 11-9, 4.13 ERA in 2005
• 0-1, 11.12 ERA in 2005 vs. CWS

Player to watch
Rowand has been known recently for his defensive prowess in center field, but he can also hit the ball. Rowand has a good matchup Saturday night, with eight hits in 11 career at-bats against Wakefield, including three home runs and seven RBIs.

"Overall, if you go to this ballpark, I think you're going to score some runs. You have to. If not, you're going to have some problems." -- Manager Ozzie Guillen, on facing the Red Sox at Fenway Park

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
Official game notes

On television

On radio
• CWS: ESPN Radio WMVP-AM 1000
• BOS: WEEI 850 AM, WROL 950 AM (Español)

Quick hits
Tadahito Iguchi has hit six of his 11 home runs to left field. ... Scott Podsednik picked up his 31st infield hit, tops in the American League, on Friday night. He is 10-for-58 over his last 14 games. ... Bobby Jenks had a stretch of one run allowed over 12 1/3 innings snapped by Ortiz's home run in the eighth inning of Friday's loss. ... Neal Cotts has gone 17 straight appearances without allowing an earned run. ... The White Sox are outscoring opponents 101-51 in the first inning this year, and those 101 runs scored lead the Majors. ... Jason Varitek's home run off Mark Buehrle in the fifth inning of the series opener was the first allowed by the left-hander in 36 innings. ... The White Sox are 33-12 when Podsednik scores a run. ... The White Sox slipped to 26-14 in one-run games on Friday. ... The White Sox have been in first place all 131 days this season, 37 more than their combined total of 94 from 2001-2004. ... The White Sox are 23-10-3 in series this season. ... The White Sox are 18-10 against the American League East and 2-3 against the Red Sox. ... They are 38-18 on the road, 20-11 vs. left-handed starters, 6-5 in August and 2-2 on this six-game road trip. ... The White Sox were 58-56 after 114 games last year.

On deck
• Sunday: at Red Sox, 1:05 p.m. CT
• Monday: vs. Twins, 7:05 p.m. CT
• Tuesday: vs. Twins, 7:05 p.m. CT

Scott Merkin is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.