Garcia becomes Venezuela's No. 1

ALCS redux: White Sox pound Angels

ANAHEIM -- Ozzie Guillen is pretty sure that Freddy Garcia's new record will be broken one day. But it didn't stop the White Sox manager and the rest of the team from celebrating a bit of history Friday night as Garcia surpassed Wilson Alvarez, a former White Sox pitcher, as the winningest Venezuelan-born pitcher in Major League history.

Garcia (4-1) went six innings, allowed three runs on four hits, winning his 103rd career game as the White Sox beat the Angels, 8-5, before a sellout crowd of 43,540 at Angel Stadium in a matchup of last season's American League Championship Series combatants.

Garcia, who improved to 12-3 lifetime against the Angels, including 7-1 at Angel Stadium, walked four and struck out five as he won for fourth straight time. He gave up a two-run home run in the first inning to Vlad Guerrero, who wound up with four RBIs on the night for the Angels.

However, Garcia got some stalwart hitting and fielding by his teammates, particularly Jermaine Dye, who hit his sixth home run and made two outstanding plays in right field.

The White Sox scored five runs in the second and three more in the third as they knocked out Angels starter Jeff Weaver (1-3).

"It's great for Freddy, but there are so many Venezuelan pitchers who are pitching very well right now that the record won't last," Guillen said. "But the country has 25 million people and Freddy is No. 1 in the big leagues and you have to feel great about that.

"He will continue to win more games. But this is the beginning of a new era of Venezuelan pitchers. We have two guys there [Johan Santana and Carlos Zambrano] who can pass his mark. But we will remember tonight. We will remember someone will break Freddy's record."

"It's good to pass Wilson," said Garcia. "But I just have to keep pitching. I followed Wilson -- he was the best pitcher in Venezuela. I watched him most of the time he pitched."

Garcia noted that he has had problems in the first inning in each of his last three starts.

"In the second inning, I started out there throwing strikes and making better pitches," he said. "I'm glad we hit. JD [Dye] made a couple of good plays and that was the key to the game."

The Angels had runners on first and third with one out in the sixth, trailing 8-3, when Darin Erstad lined a shot to right-center. Dye came in and made a diving catch. The next batter, Casey Kotchman, hit a drive that appeared headed out of the ballpark, but Dye gloved it just at the wall.

"With that guy Kotchman, I was playing him to pull, I just went back to the wall and when I first went back I thought it was gone," said Dye. "But I kept going. I had a good bead on it and went up and made a good play. Luckily I'm as tall as I am."

Every White Sox starter with the exception of Jim Thome and Brian Anderson had at least one base hit.

Anderson, however, got had perhaps the key at-bat in the game as he drew a bases-loaded walk with two out on a 3-and-2 pitch from Weaver in the second inning. That forced in a run and the White Sox scored four more runs on a two-run single by Scott Podsednik and a two-run double by Tadahito Iguchi.

The White Sox chased Weaver in the third. Dye hit his sixth home run, a two-run shot with Konerko aboard, and Juan Uribe tripled home A.J. Pierzynski for the third run of the inning.

Konerko was on base five times with two walks, a hit batsman and two singles.

Thome, batting ahead of Konerko, struck out his first four at-bats before grounding out to second in the eighth.

The defending World Series champion White Sox (15-7), who lead the AL Central by 1 1/2 games over Detroit, have won 10 of their last 12 and 14 of their last 17.

Sandy Burgin is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.