White Sox starter Jon Garland can't use age as an excuse for missing the strike zone, which he did on nearly half of his pitches in limping through 4 1/3 innings in the White Sox's 8-4 loss to the Anaheim Angels.
A two-run homer in the eighth by Scott Spiezio, his second of the season, sent many of an announced crowd of 12,736 home in their parkas. Troy Glaus' ninth homer of the season finished the Anaheim scoring.
The loss was their fourth in as many games against the Angels. Anaheim has outscored the Sox 38-11 in the four games.
Manager Jerry Manuel said before the game that the key for Garland (4-3) would be his ability to focus early and avoid letting the potent Angels get an advantage. It didn't happen. Before walking in the two runs in the fifth, Garland, who finished with four walks, was victimized by two unearned runs in the third.
"He's a young pitcher, and the ball that hopped up [on second baseman Ray Durham hurt him]," Manuel said. "He wasn't able to overcome that play, and that's to be expected from a young pitcher. On the positive side he made some good pitches. He's a guy who does have good command, and when he doesn't have it, he gets hit."
The Sox gave Garland an early edge with a pair of runs in the first inning. Durham led off with a bloop single to right-center field and advanced on Tony Graffanino's bunt single toward third. Durham scored on Magglio Ordonez's single to left.
After a walk to Frank Thomas loaded the bases, Carlos Lee gave the Sox a 2-0 lead with a sacrifice fly to center.
The Angels drew even with two unearned runs in the third, both after the first two hitters were retired. Durham muffed Garret Anderson's weakly hit grounder that allowed Darin Erstad, who had singled ahead of a walk to Glaus, to score. Brad Fullmer then lined a single past Durham to drive in Glaus.
The Sox added a run in the fourth on a double by Thomas, a single by Sandy Alomar and a double by Aaron Rowand. But three of the first four Anaheim batters singled in the fifth, loading the bases with one out. Garland then walked Fulmer and Tim Salmon in succession before he was pulled in favor of Antonio Osuna.
The Sox's final run came across in the fifth on singles by Graffanino, Ordonez and Thomas.
It was also a bad night for streaks. Paul Konerko's hitting streak ended at 12 as the Sox's first basemen went hitless in four at bats. Shortstop Royce Clayton's string of 69 games without an error came to an end with a bad throw in the first inning. The streak was the longest for an American League shortstop, dating back to Aug. 28 last season in Detroit.