White Sox 20, Cardinals 6

(from left to right : Jerry Reinsdorf, Tony La Russa, Eddie Einhorn and Ozzie Guillen share a laugh. Not shown : big beaked broadcaster that fired La Russa)

Even Shawn Estes has to be impressed : Ozzie Guillen finally found someone who knows how to retaliate properly. From the A.P. :

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen and reliever David Riske were ejected in the seventh after Chris Duncan was hit with a pitch. The benches had been warned in the bottom of the sixth after St. Louis reliever Sidney Ponson hit two White Sox batters with the bases loaded.

“I’m not going to put my teammates in jeopardy to get hurt. It looked like it was, but it wasn’t. It was never my intention,” Ponson said.

“Those guys are going to be mad and they have every right to do that. I would be too if I got hit like that.”

Riske said the pitch just got away from him. But last week White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen had a dugout tirade when rookie pitcher Sean Tracey failed to retaliate after Pierzynski had twice been hit with pitches in Texas.

Guillen said he knew Tony La Russa, his first major league manager, had nothing to do with two of his batters being hit.

“If Ponson says he is not hitting them on purpose, we believe it,” Guillen said. “And I don’t believe Riske hit anybody on purpose either.”

The D-Train (above) showed flashes of his old selt in the Marlins’ 6-2 win over the Orioles Tuesday evening. The Fish, winners of 9 consecutive (a franchise record) and 15 of 18, are a mere 6 games removed from the NL Wild Card, a situation that must frustrate ownership. It’s far tougher for Jeffrey Loria to cut his losses if Florida are commonly known to be in the race.

Tampa Bay has shipped OF Joey Gaithright and infielder Fernando Cortez to Kansas City in exchange for lefty J.P. Howell.

The Braves’ John Smoltz, in the ultimate act of unselfishness, has said he might accept a trade. I can think of a couple of teams on the eastern seaboard that could sorely use Smoltz’ help….groundskeeping.