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Sixth-inning outburst carries White Sox



Published: Tue, July 17, 2007 @ 12:00 a.m.

Cleveland narrowly missed embarrassing Chicago before losing, 11-10.

CLEVELAND (AP) — Paul Konerko hit a three-run homer, highlighting Chicago’s nine-run sixth inning, but the White Sox barely held off Cleveland for an 11-10 win over the Indians on Monday night.

Konerko’s 19th homer, off reliever Fernando Cabrera, was one of five extra-base hits in the sixth — Chicago’s highest-scoring inning of 2007 — that helped the disappointing White Sox take out some frustration and open an 11-2 lead.

But the Indians, as they’ve done all season, roared back.

Closing gap

Cleveland got a three-run homer from Franklin Gutierrez in the sixth, and then scored five times off four Chicago relievers in the eighth to climb within one.

White Sox closer Bobby Jenks, though, finally ended the Indians’ bid for their 28th come-from-behind win by pitching the ninth for his 25th save in 29 tries.

Jenks got some help from Konerko, who made a diving stop in the hole at first to take a leadoff single away from Ryan Garko. Pinch-hitter Trot Nixon struck out, but Gutierrez singled for his fourth hit to keep Cleveland’s rally alive and stole second.

Josh Barfield then fouled out behind home plate, allowing the White Sox to avoid an embarrassing collapse.

Konerko was robbed of at least a double and maybe two more RBIs in the seventh by Grady Sizemore, who scaled the wall in left-center and snagged the drive, which TV replays showed ricocheted off the Plexiglas into his glove.

Jim Thome had three hits, rookie Jerry Owens picked up his first three career RBIs and Rob Mackowiak drove in three — with two hits in the sixth — for Chicago, which entered the week 10 games under .500 and 14 games behind in the AL Central.

Barometer

The White Sox improved to 2-3 on a crucial 11-game road trip that general manager Kenny Williams has promised to use as a barometer to decide whether or not to break up his roster with trades.

Tied 2-2 in the sixth, the White Sox sent 14 batters to the plate and got nine hits, their most in an inning since getting 12 on June 20, 2006, against St. Louis.

Rookie John Danks (6-6) held Cleveland to five runs in 52⁄3 innings, making him 3-0 in his last six starts. The left-hander was pulled after giving up Gutierrez’s homer.

Victor Martinez hit a two-run homer for the Indians, who fell one game behind idle Detroit in the AL Central.

A.J. Pierzynski opened Chicago’s super sixth with a double off Cliff Lee (5-6) and scored on Mackowiak’s infield single. One out later, Lee intentionally walked Juan Uribe to face Owens. The light-hitting center fielder grounded a two-run single.

Lee was replaced by Cabrera, who couldn’t stop the White Sox either. Uribe scored on a sac fly and Thome doubled before Konerko homered.

It was Chicago’s major league-leading 22nd homer in July, one more than the White Sox hit in all of June.

Hit around

Pierzynski, Jermaine Dye and Mackowiak all got their second hits of the inning before Jensen Lewis made his major league debut and finally ended the outburst.

Down 11-5 in the eighth, the Indians loaded the bases on three consecutive singles before Barfield’s groundout brought in one. Boone Logan then replaced Ryan Bukvich, who walked Sizemore.

Casey Blake hit a grounder that handcuffed Uribe at short for an error, allowing Jason Michaels to score and keeping the bases loaded for Martinez, whose sac fly made it 11-8.

After both runners moved up on a wild pitch, Hafner poked a two-run single to right to pull Cleveland within a run. Rookie Dewon Day got Jhonny Peralta to ground out on the first pitch to end the Indians’ comeback.

Notes

The White Sox began a stretch of games in which they’ll play 25 of their next 28 against teams with winning records. The lone exception is a three-game set against Toronto, which entered the week just one game under .500. ... Martinez was shaken by a foul tip that deflected off his mask in the sixth. After being struck, he dropped to one knee and rubbed his jaw but stayed in the game.


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