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The White Sox pitching staff had to hit rock bottom Wednesday night, but it brought out the best in a once-stagnant offense.
The Sox erupted for a season-high 10 runs in the sixth inning to bail out Jon Garland in a 12-6 victory over Arizona that averted a three-game sweep at damp U.S. Cellular Field.
The 10 runs were the most by the Sox in an inning since they scored 11 against Seattle in the fourth inning of an 18-11 victory on April 18, 2000.
"I never thought we'd score this many runs in an inning with the type of team we have," manager Ozzie Guillen said.
The Sox hit four home runs, including three during their 10-run rally.
Frank Thomas started the slugfest with a drive to the bullpen in left, and Paul Konerko ended it with a three-run blast as the Sox finally exploited the Diamondbacks' shoddy bullpen after starter Russ Ortiz failed to hold a 6-1 lead.
The biggest hit of the inning, however, was Juan Uribe's three-run, tie-breaking homer off a low breaking pitch from Ortiz that barely landed in the left-field seats.
The homer was Uribe's first since May 12 against Baltimore.
The Sox had scored more than four runs in an inning only once before, tallying six in the eighth inning of a 15-5 rout at Colorado on June 7.
The breakout took a massive load off a pitching staff that had allowed 24 runs to the Diamondbacks before the rally and appeared destined to absorb the brunt of the team's first three-game sweep this season.
It also gave the Sox a collective sigh of relief heading into Thursday's off day and allowed them to regroup for this weekend's interleague series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"I feel so proud of what those kids did," Guillen said. "
To have this comeback, you should feel proud of these players. They keep pushing. I tell the boys it's not going to be an easy road. You have to keep fighting."
The Sox, who improved to 43-22, and Diamondbacks combined for 17 home runs in the series, but the Sox needed to pull out all the stops during the 10-run sixth.
Before the rally, the Sox had collected consecutive hits only twice during the first 23 innings of this series.
Ortiz (4-6), who hasn't won since May 18, had limited the Sox to three hits through the first five innings and was on the verge of preserving the Diamondbacks' bullpen for a third consecutive night.
But Thomas' homer, his fourth in 21 at-bats since he came back from a severe ankle injury, gave the Sox a sense of urgency as seven consecutive batters reached base safely.
The Sox were aided tremendously by an old teammate, shortstop Royce Clayton, who committed a throwing error on a force play at second that prevented what would have been the second out of the inning.
Clayton then compounded his mistake after charging Joe Crede's grounder. Jermaine Dye broke toward home but stopped as Clayton paused momentarily and looked toward first. Dye headed toward home and Crede reached first safely as Clayton held the ball.
Uribe followed with his home run and pumped his right fist in the air as he rounded first base.
Tadahito Iguchi extended the rally off reliever Claudio Vargas with a triple under the glove of left fielder Luis Gonzalez to snap a 1-for-10 slump.
Konerko, who extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a single in the fourth, took extra time after fouling a 2-2 pitch off his left foot.
But he had plenty of time to recuperate after launching the next pitch well over the left-field fence for his 17th homer.
Thomas left in the eighth because of a minor cramp in his leg.
The biggest beneficiary was Garland (11-2), who became the AL leader in victories despite allowing six runs, including three home runs, in six innings.
Garland now has allowed six homers in his last four starts after allowing just three in his first nine.