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Garcia strong-arms Sox to title

Garcia strong-arms Sox to title

HOUSTON -- The night has already been logged in the history of World Series play in this country but will live forever in the hearts and minds of men and women in another.

Venezuela-native Freddy Garcia pitched the White Sox to a 1-0 victory in Game 4 and the club's first World Series title in 88 years.

Garcia did it with his strong right arm and he did it with pride. He also accomplished the feat with good friend and fellow countryman Ozzie Guillen at the helm. It's a day Garcia will never forget.

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"Can you imagine Venezuela right now," Garcia said. "Me pitching and Ozzie the manager? It's unbelievable. I'm so happy for us. I'm so proud. I feel so good."

It showed. Early. Garcia was solid -- again. The Venezuelan right-hander struck out seven batters and walked three hitters in seven effective innings. Of the four hits he allowed, three were singles. Mike Lamb hit a double to right field in the second inning, accounting for Garcia's only extra-base hit allowed.

"I felt really good today, better than I felt in a long time," Garcia said. "Our bullpen came in and shut it down. We scored and that was it. We are champions."

Part of the reason is Garcia. He posted a 3-0 record and 2.14 ERA during 21 innings in his three starts during the 2005 postseason.

"Freddy was awesome," White Sox third baseman Joe Crede said. "He's a great pitcher and we knew he had the ability to do it. He was our guy tonight and he was the guy we needed to shut them down. He deserves all the credit."

In the end, the White Sox finished off the Astros and the season in a familiar manner -- with fundamental baseball.

Hitting in place of Garcia, Willie Harris led off the eighth inning with a single to left field and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Scott Podsednik.

Podsednik's bunt landed only a few feet from home plate, leaving Houston closer Brad Lidge no other play but a force out at first base. Harris advanced to third on a sharp ground ball to second base by pinch-hitter Carl Everett.

Two outs. Runner at third base. World Series MVP Jermaine Dye did the rest, connecting on a 1-1 delivery from Lidge and driving it up the middle for the RBI and the game's lone tally.

"It's been a long time since they've been in the World Series and won," Dye said. "And it means a lot, not only to us in the clubhouse but to the organization, to the fans, to the city and it's just a great feeling. And we're just happy to be able to bring a championship to the city of Chicago, and it's really special."

Guillen initially watched the celebration from the third-base line. He celebrated later and it is very likely he will be celebrating all offseason.

"I was thinking about my country and Jerry Reinsdorf," Guillen said. "But more about my country because I think we need this happiness back there and thank God we did."

All Garcia could do afterward was smile and clap his hands.

"I know Venezuela is celebrating the way we are now," Garcia said. "It's a big day there."

Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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