Kevin Tapani was looking to pitch for a contender. He made a good choice. The Chicago White Sox look like they made a great one.
The White Sox signed the free agent to a one-year contract in the offseason and all he has done is go 7-3 and become an integral part of the rotation that has Chicago tied for first place in the AL Central with the Cleveland Indians."Everything's worked out pretty good. There are a lot of smart people here," Tapani said Monday night after winning his fourth straight game, 8-2 over the Boston Red Sox.
It was Chicago's 19th win in its last 22 games, it improved Tapani's career record against Boston to 9-0, and it gave the White Sox a 21-5 mark this season at Comiskey Park.
"We do not feel invincible here, but we sure like playing at home," White Sox manager Terry Bevington said.
Tapani didn't feel like he was impressive, but he's not arguing.
"I didn't feel like I was throwing that well, but at the end when you look up and see eight innings, five hits, two runs and two walks with nine strikeouts, I'll take that almost every time out," Tapani said.
The Red Sox will take any game where one of their pitchers manages any numbers that translate into a victory.
Tim Wakefield (4-6) worked on two days rest as he moved up in the rotation to replace scheduled starter Aaron Sele, who had a stomach flu.
"We knew Wakefield would have to go seven or nine innings tonight," Boston manager Kevin Kennedy said. "Our bullpen has been taxed quite a bit and their arms have been heavily used this week."
Wakefield, a knuckleballer, went the distance, throwing 162 pitches and allowing 16 hits.
Tigers 8, Orioles 3
The Tigers won for the third time in their last four games and eighth in 48 as Omar Olivares threw eight shutout innings, the most by a Detroit pitcher this season.
Olivares (2-2) allowed four hits in winning for the first time since April 10. The Tigers, who got two RBIs from both Tony Clark and Kimera Bartee, had lost eight straight to the visiting Orioles.
Indians 5, Athletics 4
Charles Nagy (10-1) became the league's first 10-game winner and improved his career record against Oakland to 7-2. He allowed four runs on nine hits over seven innings with one walk and seven strikeouts. Jose Mesa pitched the ninth for his 22nd save.
Manny Ramirez and Kenny Lofton homered for Cleveland. Mark McGwire's 16th homer of the season brought the visiting Athletics within 5-4 in the seventh.
Yankees 5, Blue Jays 3
Tino Martinez capped the Yankees' four-run first inning with a three-run homer and Wade Boggs went 4-for-4 as the Blue Jays lost their season-high fifth straight.
Boggs opened the game with a double, advanced to third on a single by Bernie Williams and scored on Paul O'Neill's double. Martinez followed with his 10th homer of the season to make it 4-0 before an out was recorded.
Twins 13, Mariners 6
The Twins hit five homers, including the first two-homer game of Greg Myers' career, as they won for the 12th time in 16 games. Ron Coomer, who had four hits, Paul Molitor and Scott Stahoviak also homered for the Twins.
Edgar Martinez had half of the four homers by Seattle, which extended its major league-leading total to 105 and had at least four in a game for the 10th time this season. Ken Griffey Jr., with his 21st, and Dan Wilson also went deep for the visiting Mariners.
Angels 7, Royals 5, 10 innings
Chili Davis returned to the starting for the first time since June 1, and had four hits, including a two-run homer in the 10th inning. J.T. Snow followed Davis' homer with one off Tim Pugh (0-1) as the visiting Angels snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Royals.
Chuck McElroy (1-0), recently acquired in the trade for Lee Smith, got his first AL win with 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Troy Percival worked the 10th for his 14th save.
Rangers 8, Brewers 3
Darryl Hamilton went 2-for-3 and drove in three runs against his former teammates as Texas won its fourth straight and stretched its lead over second-place Seattle in the AL West to 61/2 games, the largest in franchise history.
Ivan Rodriguez and Kevin Elster each drove in two runs for the Rangers, while Mark McLemore went 3-for-4, making him 16-for-31 in June.