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Guillen has no problem with his coaches
By Scot Gregor | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 7/18/2009 10:14 PM

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So what did White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen do when third-base coach Jeff Cox waved Paul Konerko and Chris Getz home in the fifth inning Saturday, only to see both runners get cut down at the plate?

He laughed.

"I've never seen a guy get thrown out at the plate twice in less than 30 seconds," Guillen said after the Sox hung on for a 4-3 victory over Baltimore at U.S. Cellular Field. "That's a world record."

When Guillen saw Cox in the clubhouse after his postgame news conference, he laughed some more.

"I will never criticize them," Guillen said. "That's why they're there. That's why they have their jobs; that's why I hired them. I'm behind them 100 percent.

"I think (right fielder Nick) Markakis made a (heck) of a throw (to get Getz). I want them to be aggressive on the basepaths. We don't have a team with a lot of speed, and that's why we have to push those guys to run the bases."

Relief effort: When White Sox general manager Kenny Williams traded promising prospect Brandon Allen to the Arizona Diamondbacks for relief pitcher Tony Pena on July 8, more than a few heads were scratched.

But the move is starting to make sense as Scott Linebrink, Octavio Dotel and even Matt Thornton have experienced recent rough patches.

Sox manager Ozzie Guillen asked Williams for another reliever, and the GM zeroed in on the hard-throwing Pena, who has allowed 2 earned runs in 3 innings with the White Sox.

"That's a key for everybody in the American League if you want to win it because most ballclubs have pretty good lineups," Guillen said of having a strong bullpen. "In the American League, the one who is going to win is going to pitch the best.

"You look around, Boston and New York are there because they're pitching well. Detroit. The bullpen is important. That's where you make the most mistakes as a manager. You see a lot of games decided late."

Closer Bobby Jenks struggled Saturday, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits before nailing down his 21st save.

The Sox' bullpen has been shaky in two games since the all-star break, but catcher A.J. Pierzynski said there's no reason to worry.

"After that four-day break, that first game back is tough," he said. "The emotions, you have to kind of get it back together and realize that, hey, we're back in the grind and it's time to get going again.

"As a player we have more room for error because you get 4 or 5 at-bats. They've got one inning and they've got to get it done."

Something wild: Aaron Poreda still is one of the White Sox' best young pitchers, and the 22-year-old lefty is likely to get a shot to start as early as next season.

For now Poreda is pitching long relief, but he has issued 5 walks in 5 innings over his last 3 outings.

Manager Ozzie Guillen puts up with plenty of flaws, but walks aren't one of them. That's why he didn't call on Poreda to face the Orioles on Friday in a tight game.

"The perfect guy in that (sixth) inning last night was Poreda, but I didn't feel comfortable putting that kid in that situation with the game on the line," Guillen said.

"I wish I had a little more confidence in Poreda, not because he's bad, just because he's a kid."