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Giambi’s walkoff home run gives Indians 3-2 win over White Sox

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CLEVELAND -- Jason Giambi homered against Ramon Troncoso in the ninth inning, the ninth walkoff homer of the 42-year-old’s career, giving the Cleveland Indians a 3-2 win against the White Sox on Monday night.

The defeat dropped the Sox to 40-63. The 23 games under .500 is the most for the South Siders since they were 61-84 in September, 2007. The Sox have lost 10 of 13 and are 16-39 since they were 24-24 on May 27.

The Sox got a solid starter from left-hander John Danks, who allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits over six innings. Danks gave up four walks, two more than his previous high.

Danks struck out three and lowered his ERA to 4.57. Almost a year removed from shoulder surgery, his velocity is a tick or two below normal, which has forced him to pitch differently. It’s an exercise he hopes pays off down the road.

“Yeah, in a perfect world I will get my stuff back or better and move along,’’ Danks said. “But realistically I understand this will be something I have to deal with the rest of my career. Which is fine, I’m prepared to do it and each time out I’m prepared to do it a little better. Trying to be as smart as possible out there, I guess. I’m still holding on to me getting my stuff back and pitching like I did before I got hurt.’’

Danks retired 11 straight Indians in one stretch. He was hurt by more bad Sox defense, which manager Robin Ventura characterized as “atrocious.”

“It is what it is,’’ Ventura said.

Third baseman Conor Gillaspie committed a throwing error during an overall shoddy second inning for the Sox. Asdrubal Cabrera reached on the play and scored.

The Sox took a 2-1 lead against Zach McAllister in the sixth on back-to-back doubles by Alex Rios and Adam Dunn and an RBI single by Paul Konerko. The Indians tied it in the bottom of the inning on Cabrera’s RBI groundout after Danks walked the first two batters of the inning.

“I had stuff enough to make it deeper in the game,’’ Danks said. “Command wasn’t where it needed to be. These days happen where you’re not able to throw the ball where you want to. That’s a good team over there, a tough lineup.’’

Before the game, reliever Jesse Crain was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays.

“I have nothing but good things to say,’’ Ventura said. “He was a great person for me to have on the team. He was a good teammate, a great competitor, he worked hard and was always there for everybody. Those are always tough things where you have a guy like he is first as a person and does the things he does on the field. That’s tough to replace.’’

Crain and Jake Peavy, who is also on the trading block, are friends of Danks.

“Yeah it’s hard to watch,’’ Danks said. “Jesse and I have become good buddies. Jake and I have a real good relationship. I’d love to keep him but I understand the business, that things have to happen. We’ll see what happens.’’

According to Elias, Giambi is the oldest player in history to hit a walk-off homer. Giambi is 42 years, 202 days old. Hank Aaron hit one at 42 years, 157 days in 1976.



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