Error-prone Indians hand White Sox 4-2 victory, two-game sweep
By DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org July 24, 2011 7:42PM
Updated: October 29, 2011 12:36AM
CLEVELAND — Maybe the breaks are starting to go the White Sox’ way.
They found a way to win two weekend games against the Cleveland Indians with very little offense, letting the Indians beat themselves in a 4-2 victory Sunday afternoon. The Tribe saw its lead over the Sox in the American League Central shrink to 2½ games after making three errors, including a dropped fly ball that scored two runs.
‘‘I can’t think of one time all year when something like that went our way,’’ Adam Dunn said. ‘‘We’ve had it go against us quite a bit. Maybe it’s a sign of things turning around.’’
Edwin Jackson pitched through the distraction of trade rumors, and the Sox won both games of a rain-shortened series to finish 5-3 on an important road trip through three AL Central cities. They trail first-place Detroit by 41/2 games going into their home series against the Tigers that opens tonight.
The Sox have to keep the pedal down. The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees come to town after the Tigers.
‘‘When we win a couple of games and play well, I don’t know if it’s contentment, but we need to continue to push and make a strong run here in the next couple of months,’’ third baseman Mark Teahen said.
The Sox caught a big break in the sixth when Indians center fielder Ezequiel Carrera lost Dunn’s deep, two-out fly ball in the sun and dropped it for an error, allowing Omar Vizquel and Paul Konerko to score and give the Sox a 3-1 lead.
With first base open, Indians right-hander Justin Masterson intentionally walked Konerko to face Dunn (.160).
As lucky as the Sox were on the drop by Carrera, whose sunglasses were fashionably perched on the bill of his cap and not functionally placed over his eyes, the Indians lucked out when Dunn (0-for-4) pulled a liner down the right-field line on the previous pitch. It was foul by inches.
Jackson (7-7, 3.92 ERA) improved to 9-1 in his career against the Indians, including 3-0 this season. He followed a shutout against the Tigers in his last outing with another good start, improving to 3-1 with a 3.18 ERA over his last four starts.
‘‘My name is in trade rumors every year,’’ Jackson said. “I don’t worry about it. I can’t control it. I just want to play wherever I’m wanted to play at. If they want to keep me, I’ll be glad to play here. But if I do get traded, I’ll be glad to play wherever I’m traded to. I just want to go out and play the game and help whatever team win.”
According to a report out of St. Louis, the Sox have had discussions with the Cardinals about center fielder Colby Rasmus. The Cards are said to be interested in Jackson. Numerous scouts have eyeballed him of late because his contract expires after the season.
The Sox (49-51) likely would be more active if they were going south leading to the deadline. General manager Ken Williams may shed light on that when he talks to the media as expected before the game tonight. Manager Ozzie Guillen talked as if he wants Jackson around.
‘‘That’s going to be huge for us for the rest of the season, how we continue to pitch,’’ Guillen said. ‘‘If we continue to pitch like that and play the way we did the last couple of days, we’ll be fine.’’
The Sox’ first run came when Juan Pierre (two hits, sacrifice bunt) doubled, was bunted to third by Alexei Ramirez and scored on Konerko’s grounder to shortstop. It was the type of situational execution that has been lacking for the Sox, who got more in the seventh when Teahen singled over a drawn-in infield to score Alex Rios from third and make it 4-2. Rios had reached on an error by shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, stole second and went to third on catcher Carlos Santana’s high throw.
Jesse Crain then pitched a perfect seventh against the bottom third of the order, and Chris Sale struck out the top third in order and got Travis Hafner on a grounder to lead off the ninth before Sergio Santos came on for a shaky save, his 20th.