Tribe Takes Series From Sox, Head Home In First Place; Indians 7, White Sox 5
By Christian Petrila
Had the White Sox been the North Siders, their game against the Indians may not have happened.
However, Mother Nature smiled on the White Sox’s geographical placement. Storms were popping up throughout the Windy City the entire night, but U.S. Cellular Field was spared the rain and the Indians used it to their advantage, beatingChicago7-5.
Justin Masterson finally got his first win of the year. He pitched 6.1 innings while allowing three earned runs and striking out six. The bullpen came in and shut the door on the Sox. Tony Sipp and Joe Smith came in and escaped jams partially caused by the miniscule strike zone of home plate umpire Eric Cooper. Dan Wheeler gave up a ninth inning home run to Adam Dunn before Chris Perez came in and recorded his ninth save.
The Indians tacked on the first three runs of the game on RBI singles from Casey Kotchman and Asdrubal Cabrera and an RBI triple by the red-hot Jason Kipnis. The White Sox cut the deficit to 3-2 in the fifth on a two-run single that caught Masterson on the leg. Cabrera was not amused, as he promptly hit a solo home run in the very next half inning.
The White Sox got back the run when Alex Rios drove in AJ Pierzynski with a single. Michael Brantley tried to throw the White Sox catcher out at home, but the throw was a bit off line and Pierzynski was called safe with Carlos Santana missing him on a tag by mere hairs.
The Indians got some more insurance in the seventh as Jason Kipnis blasted a three-run home run to give the Indians a 7-3 lead. The White Sox looked to potentially have something brewing in the eighth, but Gordon Beckham was doubled off of first base when he made a boneheaded base running blunder on a simple fly ball to Brantley. Disaster averted.
In the bottom of the ninth, Dan Wheeler allowed a leadoff single to Alejandro De Aza. After Wheeler got Alexei Ramirez to pop out (forcing Jack Hannahan to fight the lightning in the distance while fielding), Adam Dunn mashed a two-run home run to right center. Just like that, it was a save situation.
Chris Perez entered the game after a rushed warm-up session in the bullpen. It was immediately evident that he was rushed as he walked Paul Konerko on four pitches. With the tying run at the plate being represented by AJ Pierzynski, the two had a battle at the plate before Pierzynski was called out on strikes on the ninth pitch of the at-bat, drawing a fist pump from Perez. Alex Rios was the last hope, but he didn’t prove to be much of a salvation for the Sox as he grounded out to Asdrubal Cabrera to end the game.
After the final out, Rios and Perez were seen exchanging some choice words, inciting umpires to step between to make sure nothing escalated.
Masterson got his first win of the season while John Danks was saddled with the loss. It was a rough outing for the Chicago southpaw, as he went seven innings while allowing six earned runs and seven total.
The Indians managed to take two of three from the White Sox.Cleveland’s record improved to 13-10, while Chicago’s dropped to 12-13.
Photo: David Banks/Getty Images