CHICAGO - Frank Catalanotto got an opportunity few players ever have. And after he’d tied an AL record with six hits, it was still hard for him to grasp.
Catalanotto went 6-for-6 to lead the Toronto Blue Jays to a 10-6 win over the Chicago White Sox and a split of their doubleheader Saturday night.
“You never really think about getting six hits. It crossed my mind, ‘Hey I’m going to get a chance here,”’ he said. “And when it happened, I almost couldn’t even believe it. I mean six hits, that’s pretty good. I’ll take it.”
The Blue Jays left fielder fell one hit short of the major league record for a nine-inning game, accomplished by Rennie Stennett on Sept. 16, 1975 for Pittsburgh. Shawn Green was the last player to have six hits in a nine-inning game. He did it in May 2002 as part of his four-homer game for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Damion Easley was the last of many American Leaguers to have six hits in a nine-inning game, doing it in 2001 for Detroit.
Catalanotto had five singles and a double to become the first player in Blue Jays’ history to have six hits in a game. Toronto had a season-high 18 hits in snapping a four-game losing streak. Catalanotto went 0-for-1 in the first game.
Catalanotto singled to left center in the eighth inning off first-game winner Shingo Takatsu for his sixth hit.
“I had never faced the guy before so I told myself to look for something slow. I got something slow and it looked like a beach ball. It’s tough to explain,” Catalanotto said.
“It seemed like I was on the right page with the pitcher at the right time. It seemed like I always got the pitch I was looking for in the place I wanted it. Everything I looked for I got.”
Chicago won the opener 4-3 on Joe Crede’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 10th.
Ted Lilly (2-2) got the win in the nightcap, allowing seven hits and five runs, including homers to Juan Uribe and Miguel Olivo. Eric Hinske and Orlando Hudson homered for the Blue yas.
Hinske had a solo shot and Hudson a two-run homer in the second against Dan Wright (0-4), who is winless in his last 19 starts dating back to Sept. 26, 2002.
Wright was demoted to Triple-A immediately after the game and the White Sox will call up catcher-infielder Jamie Burke.
“Obviously it’s a disappointment. It’s baseball. You deal with it and go on,” Wright said.
The Blue Jays knocked Wright out in a three-run fourth that featured RBI singles by Catalanotto and Vernon Wells that helped build a 6-2 lead.
Olivo hit a three-run homer in the fourth to cut the lead to one before Catalanotto hit another RBI single in the fifth.
The Blue Jays then tacked on three more in the seventh. Carlos Delgado, who homered in the opener, had an RBI single to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, Hinske had a sacrifice fly and Hudson a run-scoring single.
In the opener, Magglio Ordonez singled in the 10th and after Frank Thomas walked, Ross Gload sacrificed. Justin Speier (1-3) then walked Paul Konerko intentionally to load the bases before Crede lifted a fly to right fielder Howie Clark.
Clark made a strong throw to the plate, but Ordonez slid around catcher Kevin Cash as the White Sox won for the sixth time in eight games.
“I wanted to avoid the double play and I knew he would keep it down, so I was looking for a pitch I could hit up in the air,” Crede said.
Japanese saves leader Takatsu (1-0) got his first major league win with a scoreless top of the 10th.
Toronto tied the game at 3 in the top of the eighth when Delgado homered off reliever Damaso Marte.
Crede’s two-run homer in the fifth gave the White Sox a one-run lead and Mark Buehrle appeared on his way to a win for the first time since April 10.
Buehrle allowed just six hits and two runs with a season-high eight strikeouts in 6 2-3 innings. After Cliff Politte got the final out of the seventh and the first one in the eighth, Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen brought in the left-handed Marte to face Delgado and the strategy backfired.
Reigning AL Cy Young winner Roy Halladay gave up only four hits and three runs in seven innings.
Delgado earlier had a two-out RBI single in the fifth to give Toronto a 2-1 lead.
Notes: The start of the twinbill was delayed 33 minutes by more rain. The teams had been rained out Friday and the doubleheader was necessary because the Blue Jays don’t return to Chicago this season. It was the 20th postponement in the 14-year history of U.S. Cellular Field. ... Attendance was announced as 22,072. ... Blue Jays SS Chris Woodward left in the fifth inning of the second game with a tight hamstring and was replaced by Chris Gomez. ... Uribe has 12 hits in his last 21 at-bats and is hitting .394.
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