- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 12, 2004

CHICAGO (AP) — There’s nothing wrong with the Chicago White Sox offense that a home game can’t cure.

Magglio Ordonez went 4-for-5 with five RBI, Frank Thomas hit a three-run homer and the White Sox had a season-high 19 hits in a 15-0 rout of the Baltimore Orioles last night. Mark Buehrle (2-1) scattered four hits over seven innings to get his first victory in a month.

“I came in the dugout and joked around with the guys that I needed eight runs today,” Buehrle said. “They scored me almost double.”

Jose Valentin hit a two-run homer and Willie Harris went 4-for-5, a career high for hits. Every starter reached base at least once, and Carlos Lee and Juan Uribe were the only ones without an RBI.

It matched the biggest shutout at home since July15, 1907, when the White Sox beat the New York Yankees 15-0.

“That’s the offense I waited for since spring training,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “Finally we swung the bat a lot better. Obviously, I don’t expect my team to score that many runs every day, but I expect them to have good at-bats. I think we relied on the pitching staff for a long time.

“It’s about time the guys step up, and they did a tremendous job.”

The White Sox had been scratching for offense, managing only eight runs as they lost a season-high three straight last weekend. But they’ve been better at home, hitting .303, and last night was no exception.

They tagged Sidney Ponson (2-3) for seven runs and 11 hits in six innings, and scored seven off reliever Rick Bauer in an eight-run seventh. Ponson (2-3) is 0-3 with a 10.13 ERA in his last four starts.

“I’m really [angry] that I pitched so badly,” Ponson said. “Right now, things aren’t going my way. Out of those 11 hits, three were bad pitches. The rest were good. It seems like the harder I work, the harder I get hit.”

Ponson was in trouble right away, with Harris leading off the first inning with a walk and scoring on Ordonez’s double. Three batters later, Ross Gload singled to left-center to drive in two more runs and make it 3-0.

Ordonez drove in runs with a double in the second and a single in the fourth.

“It happens,” said Ordonez, who was replaced by a pinch runner after fouling a ball off his left foot in his final at-bat. “We were struggling a little bit. We scored a lot of runs and we’re hitting pretty good.”

Ordonez’s two-run single in the seventh chased Bauer, but John Parrish didn’t fare much better. His first batter was Thomas, who sent a 2-2 pitch soaring over the wall in left-center for a three-run homer to make it 15-0 — with only one out.

The run support was plenty for Buehrle, who hadn’t won since beating the New York Yankees on April10 in his second start. He’d been 0-1 with a 7.39 ERA in his last five starts, but he looked like the dominating Buehrle of old against one of the AL’s better-hitting teams.

He allowed only one hit and two baserunners in the first 42/3 innings. After Jay Gibbons reached on a fielder’s choice with two outs in the second, Buehrle retired his next nine batters before Luis Matos doubled to the deep corner in right field.

The closest he came to a jam was in the sixth, when Jerry Hairston led off with a single and stole second. One out later, Melvin Mora walked, but Buehrle struck out Luis Lopez and Rafael Palmeiro to end the inning and the fans gave him a standing ovation as he walked off the field.

“Give credit to Buehrle for shutting us down,” Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli said. “We just seemed blah.”

Notes — Baltimore SS Miguel Tejada is listed as day-to-day after straining a muscle in the front of his right shin in the first inning. He was replaced at short by Lopez. … Hairston, activated before the game, went 1-for-3 as the designated hitter. Hairston, a native of suburban Chicago, had a small cheering section at the game, and they screamed when he singled in the sixth inning. … Valentin’s homer was the 200th of his career. … The crowd of 20,400 included 8,945 in walk-up sales.

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