Originally created 04/02/04

Rockies tie up White Sox



TUCSON, Ariz. -- Chicago White Sox starter Esteban Loaiza left Thursday's 5-5 tie with the Colorado Rockies after the first inning with a stiff neck.

Manager Ozzie Guillen said Loaiza is not expected to miss a start.

"The last few days he has been bothered," Guillen said. "I didn't want to take a chance, maybe with his neck hurting he would try to do something different with his body and his arm and arm angle."

The White Sox open the season Monday in Kansas City and Loaiza is scheduled to pitch next Wednesday against the Royals.

Loaiza, runner-up for the Cy Young Award in the American League, allowed a leadoff double to Aaron Miles, then yielded a two-run homer to Jeremy Burnitz as the Rockies took a 2-0 lead.

"He wanted to stay there and pitch a couple of more innings, I made the decision of not pitching him," Guillen said. "I think it was best for the team. We don't need him right now. I think he is ready to go for the second game (of the regular season)."

Colorado starter Sean Estes also had a shaky opening inning as the first five White Sox batters scored.

Willie Harris began the first with a walk before Jose Valentin hit a double to the right field corner. Magglio Ordonez continued his torrid hitting by smacking a two-run double to tie the game at 2.

The double was his eighth hit in 11 at-bats. He added a single the next inning.

Ordonez came around to score in the first after Frank Thomas was hit by a pitch and Carlos Lee hit a line-drive three-run homer for a 5-2 lead.

Chicago had a 5-3 edge heading into the ninth before Gary Majewski allowed a leadoff homer to Denny Hocking. He then gave up a single to Luis Gonzalez, who eventually tied the game at 5 on a fly ball from Kit Pellow.

The game was called after the ninth inning.

Notes: Chicago optioned right-handed pitcher Jason Grilli and infielder/catcher Jamie Burke to Triple-A Charlotte, leaving the White Sox with one more roster cut left this spring.