White Sox feel better about themselves after sweeping Indians
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN email@example.com May 20, 2011 12:48AM
Carlos Quentin, mired in a 1-for-19 slump, cracks a two-run homer off Fausto Carmona in the fifth inning Thursday at the fog-shrouded Cell. | Charles Rex Arbogast~AP
Updated: August 28, 2011 12:22AM
The Indians are so far ahead in the standings, the White Sox could barely get a glimpse of them when they met in the second game of a two-game series Thursday night. A fog that settled over U.S. Cellular Field made them even more difficult to see.
But the Sox (20-25) cut through the murk of a poor home record with an 8-2 victory to complete a two-game sweep of the Indians (26-15). They’ve won three in a row at home for the first time and have won nine of their last 12 overall.
“To be up where you want to be, you have to beat the good teams,’’ Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “Cleveland has been playing very well, and the key is to beat the guys in your own division. Last year, especially, we were very bad against our division, and that cost us.
“Hopefully playing well against our division gets us to where we want to get.’’
The Los Angeles Dodgers are in town for a three-game series starting tonight before the Sox leave for a 10-game trip to Texas, Toronto and Boston. They’ll have to stay on a winning course outside the division to keep from backsliding to that horrible place they were two weeks ago.
“The ball’s bouncing our way right now,’’ Guillen said. “We made so many bad mistakes early, so many bad at-bats, so many good pitchers, anytime anybody came to town to pitch it was like a Cy Young winner out there. But this group has stuck together. They haven’t panicked.
“The way we play right now we have more confidence, and every time we take the field we feel like good things are going to happen.’’
Paul Konerko hit a two-run double in the first, Alexei Ramirez a two-run double in the second and Adam Dunn followed with a two-run single in the second to give the Sox a 6-1 lead against Fausto Carmona (3-4), who has a 20.25 ERA in two starts against the Sox and a 2.56 ERA against everybody else. Carlos Quentin, shaking off a 1-for-19 slump, tacked on a two-run homer to left in the fifth inning to make it 8-1.
Before the game, Dunn said the Sox’ problems at home stemmed from failure to get “that big hit to blow open games. We’re not getting that big hit to put two, three, four on the board in an inning.’’
Hours later, the Sox did just that, and Gavin Floyd (5-3) held the Indians to one run over seven innings.
“If we battle every night like we did against Carmona, we’ll put ourselves in good position by the end,’’ Dunn said.
Left fielder Juan Pierre had a single, a double, two runs and a good running catch against the wall in foul territory. Ramirez had a double, a single, two RBI and two runs. He had a scary moment in the first when, squaring to bunt, he got hit on the right wrist by a Carmona pitch. Ramirez rolled in the grass in pain but stayed in the game and said he is fine.
“I should call somebody from Hollywood. He’s a better actor than shortstop,’’ Guillen said, suppressing laughter.
The Sox caught the Indians at a good time with Grady Sizemore on the disabled list and Travis Hafner and Travis Buck out with injuries. Orlando Cabrera was in South Carolina to become a U.S. citizen.
Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera made the defensive play of the game — maybe the month — when he bare-handed a redirected ground ball by Omar Vizquel and flipped it behind his back to second baseman Adam Everett to start a double play.
Floyd (3.88 ERA) allowed five hits and one walk and struck out three. He lowered Sox starters’ ERA over the last 16 games to 3.00.
“These guys, over the last two years I’ve been here, at least on paper, have the deepest rotation in our division,’’ Indians manager Manny Acta said.