Tribe Takes Series, Heads To Detroit; Indians 4, White Sox 2
By Mike Brandyberry
Neither team’s starting pitcher had their best night Thursday evening, but the Indians were able to get a “good enough” effort from ace Justin Masterson for a 4-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox. Cleveland has now won six of their last eight games heading in to a weekend series at Detroit.
Phil Humber, the White Sox starting pitcher, was not able to make it out of the second inning when Kosuke Fukudome lined a ball off his head. The line drive was hit so hard it dropped Humber and the ball landed in foul ground. Despite a large lump on his forehead, Humber was able to walk off the field on his own power.
Justin Masterson did not have his best stuff, but he had good enough stuff. Masterson battled all evening with control. He uncharacteristically left the ball up several times, but was lucky enough to record fly ball outs, instead of his routine ground ball outs. Masterson allowed seven hits, three hits and two runs over six innings and 108 pitches. Masterson recorded his tenth win of the season.
After Paul Konerko hit a solo home run in the bottom of the third inning, the Indians took the lead in the top of the fourth. Fukudome singled to center field, before Matt LaPorta hit a home run into the left centerfield seats. LaPorta, who has seen his playing time dwindle of late, hit his 11th home run of the season Tyler Flowers, who gave the Tribe trouble all series, answered back for Chicago in the bottom of the fourth with a two-out single to left to score Alex Rios and tie the game at two.
Masterson settled down after the fourth and in the top of the sixth Shin-Soo Choo reached on an infield single before Fukudome tripled to right field to take the lead. After loading the bases, with two outs, Asdrubal Cabrera drew a walk to give the Indians a 4-2 lead. Masterson worked the bottom of the sixth inning before giving way to the Bullpen Mafia.
Rafael Perez and Joe Smith worked the seventh, Vinnie Pestano the eighth and Chirs Perez the ninth. Perez, pitching on his third straight day, recorded his 27th save of the season. The victory puts the Indians just a game and a half behind the division leading Detroit Tigers, heading in to a weekend series between the two teams. The White Sox fall four games behind the Tigers and two and a half behind the Indians.
Photo: David Banks/Getty Images