- The Washington Times - Friday, July 29, 2005

BALTIMORE — El Duque got his first victory in more than seven weeks, and the Chicago White Sox righted themselves after a slight stumble.

Orlando Hernandez allowed two runs over six innings, and Paul Konerko and Carl Everett each homered and drove in three runs, leading the White Sox past the Baltimore Orioles 7-2 last night.

During the game, the Orioles traded outfielder Larry Bigbie to the Colorado Rockies for outfielder Eric Byrnes. Bigbie started the game, but was removed after the third inning. In his final at-bat with Baltimore, he struck out.

Hernandez (8-3) gave up seven hits, struck out three and walked none in earning his first win in three starts since returning from a stint on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. He was winless since June 8.

“Duque gets all the credit tonight. He shut down a lineup that has a lot of dangerous hitters,” Konerko said. “There were a lot of situations early on that could have changed the game early. He got out of them.”

In the bottom of the third, Miguel Tejada and Rafael Palmeiro hit two-out singles before Sammy Sosa sent a high drive to left that veered foul. Hernandez then struck him out on a 3-2 pitch.

“It was a long strike. A foul ball is a strike,” Hernandez said through a translator. “If they hit a good pitch, it’s a good hit. If it’s foul, it’s good luck for me.”

Konerko put the White Sox up 4-1 with a three-run drive off Erik Bedard (5-3) in the third inning, and Everett made it 6-2 with a two-run shot off Todd Williams in the seventh.

That was enough to erase the disappointment of losing the final two games of a three-game series against last-place Kansas City.

“We needed this one,” Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said. “We played real poorly in Kansas City. To come out with the first win here sets the table, hopefully, for a good series.”

The victory also enabled the White Sox to derive a bit of enjoyment from a day in which they learned that designated hitter Frank Thomas would likely be lost for the season with a foot injury.

Tejada went 4-for-4 with an RBI for the Orioles, who have lost 11 of 13 to fall to .500 (51-51) for the first time since April 10. Baltimore also dropped a season-high six games behind first-place Boston in the American League East.

Baltimore manager Lee Mazzilli was ejected by third base umpire Mike DiMuro in the first inning for arguing a stolen base call. It was the second time this season he has been thrown out.

Chicago got an unearned run in the first inning. Scott Podsednik walked, went to second on a passed ball and stole third on the play that led to Mazzilli’s ejection. Podsednik then trotted home on a sacrifice fly by Everett.

An RBI single by Palmeiro tied it in the bottom half, but Konerko put the White Sox ahead for good in the third, hitting his team-high 23rd homer following singles by Tadahito Iguchi and Everett.

By the time Bedard got the third out, he had already thrown 94 pitches. The left-hander lasted five innings, allowing three earned runs, five hits and four walks.

“I got to see the game from the clubhouse,” Mazzilli said, “but I think he just got gassed.”

Bedard is 0-1 with a 3.18 ERA in three starts since leaving the disabled list with a strained knee ligament.

Baltimore used successive doubles by Melvin Mora and Tejada to close to 4-2 in the fifth, but Everett’s 15th homer, following a single by Iguchi, provided Chicago with a four-run cushion in the seventh.

Iguchi singled in a run in the eighth, his third hit.

Notes — Chicago improved its major league-leading road record to 33-16. It was the fifth time this season Tejada had at least four hits in a game. His two doubles increased his AL-leading total to 35.

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