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  Thursday, Jun. 15 7:05pm ET
Knoblauch leaves game after third error

NEW YORK (AP) -- Chuck Knoblauch stood motionless, hands on his hips and staring straight ahead. Alone in his misery on the edge of the infield.

Chuck Knoblauch
Chuck Knoblauch had three errors, then called it a day.

And maybe on the edge of his career.

Three more throwing errors. The worst game in the field ever for the former Gold Glover, who recently said he might retire if his problem persisted.

So troublesome that Yankees manager Joe Torre took out his scatter-armed second baseman and sent him home early Thursday night in New York's 12-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

"He's hurting and needs our help," Torre said. "We're concerned about his welfare. He felt bad that he was hurting the ballclub. He's a very proud guy. He feels he's not doing a good job."

Even the White Sox felt for their opponent.

"Everybody in baseball, to some degree, sympathizes with that type of battle, that type of fight," Chicago manager Jerry Manuel said. "We always empathize with people who are struggling, who go through that type of pain."

Knoblauch's misplays led to two runs in the matchup between the teams with the AL's best records.

Paul Konerko and Brook Fordyce each had three hits and three RBIs as Chicago, coming off a three-game sweep at Cleveland, won for the 13th time in 15 games. Magglio Ordonez added a two-run homer. The White Sox, who have the league's top mark at 41-24, lead the AL Central by 5½ games -- their biggest edge since the end of the 1993 season.

Knoblauch's third error came in the sixth and prompted mild booing from the crowd of 30,803.

When the Yankees made a pitching change later in the inning, he stood absolutely still at his position -- hands on his hips and staring straight ahead. The other New York infielders gathered behind the mound while the outfielders talked in dead center.

"The tipoff to me was when he didn't come in when we changed the pitcher," Torre said.

When the inning ended, Knoblauch trotted into the dugout and headed toward a tunnel leading to the clubhouse. With his hand, he motioned to Torre, who followed him.

"He wanted to talk," Torre said.

Torre came back alone moments later, and Knoblauch left the game. Knoblauch has missed several games this year because of a sore left forearm.

"I told him to leave. I hope he sleeps on it," Torre said.

Shortstop Derek Jeter said he would try to call Knoblauch later in the evening.

"Obviously, he's down," he said. "If we're going to win, we need Chuck. We're going to support Chuck, and it's about time the fans did the same."

Later, a taped scoreboard quiz that was to feature Knoblauch was scrapped. Instead, one showing Tino Martinez was substituted.

Knoblauch has 12 errors this season after making a league-leading 26 last year.

Knoblauch became the first Yankees player to make three errors in a game since third baseman Scott Brosius on Aug. 4, 1998. The last Yankees second baseman to commit three was Mariano Duncan on May 1, 1996, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The White Sox have made an AL-leading 63 errors, but this time found a team that had more trouble in the field.

Mike Sirotka (6-5) won despite giving up 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Andy Pettitte (6-3), pitching on his 28th birthday, had won four straight starts. He also had been 6-0 against the White Sox at Yankee Stadium.

Knoblauch made a wild throw on a routine grounder that did not hurt New York in the third. Konerko's solo homer in the fourth put Chicago ahead 2-1.

Konerko hit a two-run double in the fifth for a 4-3 lead. He scored with two outs on Knoblauch's wide, sidearm throw from up the middle.

Knoblauch threw away a double-play relay in the sixth that would have ended the inning, and Chicago scored again for a 6-3 lead. Rookie Wilson Delgado took over at second base in the seventh.

Fordyce had an RBI single in the seventh and a two-run double in the eighth. Ordonez homered in the ninth.

Game notes
The Yankees put Roger Clemens on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained right groin. Reliever Darrell Einertson was called up from Triple-A Columbus, and gave up two runs. ... Chicago has won 11 of its last 12 road games. ... Frank Thomas hit an RBI single, walked three times and nearly grounded into a triple play. He beat Knoblauch's one-hop relay in the third.

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Chi. White Sox 12
NY Yankees 3

Tampa Bay 2
Anaheim 1

Baltimore 10
Texas 1

Seattle 12
Minnesota 5

Colorado 5
Houston 4

Pittsburgh 2
Atlanta 0

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