Orioles Are Without Answers for Garland

By Jorge Arangure Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, May 13, 2005

CHICAGO, May 12 -- Miguel Tejada was in no mood to be gracious Thursday. He sat on a chair in the middle of the visitor's clubhouse moments after the game ended and offered very little praise for the pitcher -- Chicago's Jon Garland -- who had just beaten his team in the first game of a four-game series matching the teams with the two best records in baseball.

Tejada said he did not want to take any time to talk about what Garland did effectively in the White Sox' 3-2 win against the Baltimore Orioles. Unlike some of his teammates, Tejada had very little praise for the way Garland moved the ball around the plate. He would not, with adrenaline still pulsing through his veins, admit that on a chilly night at U.S. Cellular Field, Garland was simply better than his Orioles.

"He threw a pretty good game," Tejada said, "but I think we're better than that."

Tejada's at-bat in the eighth inning effectively decided the game. With runners on first and third, Tejada fell behind 0-2 before working the count full. He then struck out on a change-up. It was Baltimore's last gasp of the game.

"He made a great pitch," Tejada said.

He said no more about Garland.

Beating the Minnesota Twins with Johan Santana on the mound on Wednesday was a lift for Baltimore. Yet it will not last long if the Orioles struggle in the four-game series against the White Sox.

Pitching has propelled the White Sox to the best record in the major leagues, but they had yet to be tested against a lineup as tough as the Orioles'. For only the second time this season, the White Sox faced a team in the top five in the American League in runs scored.

Despite the teams' records (the Orioles dropped to 22-12, the White Sox improved to 26-9), the atmosphere was rather tepid. Plenty of tickets remained and the buzz was dulled without Sammy Sosa (staph infection) in attendance. He was not forgotten, though. In the upper deck in the left field stands, a group of White Sox fans displayed a banner that read, "Where's Corky?"

It seems improbable the White Sox would own the best record without Garland's quick start. Thursday's win gave him a 7-0 record, tying him with the Florida Marlins' Dontrelle Willis for the most wins in the majors.

"I couldn't personally pick him up," Jay Gibbons said of Garland. "I couldn't find his arm slot. It was a brutal night."

Orioles starter Bruce Chen was pulled after only five innings, his shortest outing of the year. He allowed solo home runs to A.J. Pierzynski and Juan Uribe. A third run scored on a double by Aaron Rowand.

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