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Dodgers can't carry the momentum, fall 9-2 to White Sox

May 21, 2011 |  2:02 pm

Photo: Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly replaces starting pitcher Jon Garland in the fourth inning Saturday in Chicago. Credit: Jerry Lai / US Presswire The Dodgers will always have Friday.

Alas, Saturday looked just a bit too familiar. Too much like most of their season. At least the hitting part.

The day after pulling off their most thrilling and unexpected victory of the season, the Dodgers returned to U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago unable to sustain even a hint of momentum.

Maybe that long flight with precious little sleep the previous day caught up to them, but they hardly resembled a team inspired by a dramatic comeback victory, falling meekly, 9-2, on Saturday afternoon to the White Sox.

Rookie Jerry Sands picked up his first career major-league home run, which pretty much ended their offensive highlights.

White Sox left-hander Mark Buehrle (4-3) made it look fairly routine, scattering seven hits in his seven innings.

His former White Sox teammate, Jon Garland, had what could safely -- hopefully? -- be called an off game.

Dodgers’ starting pitching had been an absolute rock for weeks, but Garland became the first Dodgers starter since April 5 not to complete at least the fifth inning. The White Sox chased him with six runs in the fourth.

Garland (1-4) gave up only seven runs in his last three starts and entered the cool afternoon with a 3.55 earned-run average. The right-hander, who gave up 11 hits, was charged with seven runs in this one and, by game’s end, had a 4.75 ERA.

At no point did he look sharp. Garland gave up one run in the first on Paul Konerko’s single, but the Dodgers got it back in the third on a couple of infield hits and a Matt Kemp groundout.

But the White Sox blew it open with their six-run fourth. Alex Rios hit a two-run homer and Alexei Ramirez had a two-run single. When the struggling Garland walked Adam Dunn to load the bases, reliever Ramon Troncoso took over. And promptly surrendered a two-run single to Konerko.

Sands, a minor-league power hitter who had seldom pulled the ball since being called up April 19, pulled one off Buehrle in the sixth for his first home run in the majors.

Lance Cormier (9.88 ERA) continued his unimpressive run as a Dodgers reliever, giving up a two-run homer to Brett Lillibridge in the seventh inning.

The Dodgers were left to catch up on their sleep and dream of fresh momentum.

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-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly replaces starting pitcher Jon Garland in the fourth inning Saturday in Chicago. Credit: Jerry Lai / US Presswire

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