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The White Sox and Atlanta Braves combined for 26 hits and 18 runs Saturday, with the home team survivingmore than running awaywith a 10-8 victory before a wowed 34,719 fans, the second-largest crowd of the season.
Considering it was a major-league-high 11th time this season and third time this week the Sox have scored in double figures, it was just another normal night at U.S. Cellular Field.
But a couple of abnormalities grabbed the attention Saturdaythe first ejection for manager Ozzie Guillen and the first major-league save for Shingo Takatsu.
Guillen admitted he deserved to be booted for arguing balls and strikes, and Takatsu certainly deserved a chance to finally finish off a game after saving a record 260 games in Japan.
"Everybody was waiting when I came into the dugout, and I got a beer shower," Takatsu said through interpreter Hiroshi Abei. "And I tried to give them one. This is my first save in the United States and I was really excited."
So, with a nifty one-two-three ninth inning, Takatsu, by default, becomes the White Sox closer.
"No," Guillen said. "He came in because that situation was for him."
Other than that, it was just another wild night at The Cell.
The Sox scored in each of the final seven innings and pounded out 14 hits, including three for Carlos Lee as he ran his consecutive-games streak to 26, leaving him one short of the team record.
"It's nice and even nicer when you help a team win a game," he said.
Frank Thomas hit a pair of home runs in his first start at first base, the first one giving him 432 and sending him past Cal Ripken Jr. into 31st place on the all-time list.
Even catcher Miguel Olivo got in on the offense, even though he didn't have a hit, by knocking in runs with a groundout and sacrifice fly.
But the White Sox remain a half-game behind streaking Minnesota in the AL Central.
"People think this thing is going to be easy," Guillen said. "It's not going to be easy, but we're going to be in it."
Guillen wasn't in it at the end Saturday, at least officially, because he was ejected by plate umpire Gerry Davis.
Getting his money's worth, Guillen did a bobblehead bop, his face right in Davis', his finger pointing left and right in animated frustration.
The ejection came in the top of the sixth inning, with the Sox leading 7-6, on a 1-2 pitch from Esteban Loaiza to Eli Marrero. Davis called it a ball and moments later looked to the White Sox dugout after a comment. Guillen came running out, and it wasn't long before Davis thumbed him, to the boos of the huge crowd.
"The reason I was thrown out was because I threw my hat in the dugout," Guillen said. "I think I've got a right to do that.
But I deserved to get thrown out."
The Sox never did give up the lead after that, but the first-year manager denied he was trying to fire up his team by purposely getting banished.
"I didn't try to do that. I was just trying to protect my pitcher," Guillen said. "Anytime I get thrown out, I think I let my team down. I think they played better without me."