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Jim Thome tied Mickey Mantle for 14th place with his 536th career homer, Gavin Floyd won his fifth straight decision and the Chicago White Sox beat the Boston Red Sox 4-2 yesterday to avoid a three-game sweep.
Thome hit a two-out, two-run drive off Tim Wakefield (8-9) in the first inning for his 29th of the season. Thome and Paul Konerko hit consecutive two-out doubles in the sixth to give Chicago a 3-1 lead.
The White Sox started the day with a half-game lead in the AL Central over Minnesota, which played at Oakland later Sunday. Boston led the Twins by 3 1/2 games in the wild-card race and trailed Tampa Bay by 4 1/2 in the AL East before yesterday's games.
Floyd (15-6) allowed one run and seven hits over 6 2-3 innings against a team that outscored the White Sox 16-4 and outhit them 30-11 in the first two games.
He worked out of threats in three of the first four innings, giving up Boston's first run on Jacoby Ellsbury's RBI single in the fourth.
Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia singled in the first for his ninth straight hit, reaching safely in 11 consecutive plate appearances. He went 1-for-4 with a walk after going 4-for-4 with a walk in each of the previous two games.
Pedroia had a chance to win the game in the ninth, coming up with runners on the corners and two outs. But he flied out against Bobby Jenks, who picked up his 27th save in 30 opportunities.
Chicago ended a three-game losing streak and denied the Red Sox their first three-game sweep over the White Sox in Boston since April 1986.
The Red Sox squandered a couple of good opportunities early.
They loaded the bases with two outs in the first on singles by David Ortiz and Pedroia and a walk to Mark Kotsay. Then Jason Bay hit a hard liner that third baseman Joe Crede grabbed.
In the second, Boston put runners on second and third on a single by Alex Cora and a double by Ellsbury, who had three hits for the second straight day. But Jed Lowrie flied out to end the inning.
After a perfect third, Floyd ran into trouble again in the fourth. Jeff Bailey singled and took second on Kevin Cash's single. Ellsbury's single scored Bailey and sent Cash to third. Then Ellsbury stole second, but Lowrie left two runners stranded again when he struck out.
Crede doubled in a run in the ninth.
This program aired on September 1, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.
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