Indians 7, White Sox 3

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CLEVELAND (AP)—C.C. Sabathia first endured a sprain delay, then a rain delay before getting another win.

Sabathia stayed in just long enough to get the victory and Ben Broussard hit a two-run homer Friday night, sending the Cleveland Indians to a 7-3 win over the Chicago White Sox.

Sabathia (4-2) pitched for the first time since May 21 when he sprained his left ankle while covering first base and had to leave in the sixth inning of a win over Detroit.

The left-hander’s night began roughly when the start of the game was pushed back one-half hour by showers.

“It wasn’t that big of a deal,” said Sabathia, who stayed loose by throwing in the tunnel between the Indians’ dugout and clubhouse. “But I felt a little rusty when I first got out there.”

Sabathia went five innings, allowing three runs and five hits to remain unbeaten in his last eight starts. Four Cleveland relievers pitched one scoreless inning each to close it out.

Broussard’s third homer capped a four-run fifth for Sabathia and the Indians, who got two RBIs apiece from Milton Bradley and Josh Bard.

Frank Thomas hit a two-run homer and had all three RBIs for the White Sox, who dropped to 9-17 on the road—2-3 on their season-long 14-game trip.

White Sox manager Jerry Manuel was ejected in the middle of the fifth inning by plate umpire Mark Wegner. Manuel has been tossed five times this season and 12 times in his career.

Manuel was sticking up for Magglio Ordonez, who had questioned Wegner about a high strike.

“I know it’s best for me to get ejected than the player,” said Manuel, whose job could be in jeopardy if the White Sox continue to struggle. “I tried to draw attention away from him. I used diversionary tactics.”

An inning later, third-base coach Bruce Kimm was more direct.

Kimm was thrown out by Wegner, and then gave the ump an earful. Chicago’s bench continued a running argument with Wegner the rest of the way.

“This is the worst game I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Ordonez. “There’s nothing you can do but try to put the ball in play.”

With it tied 3-3, Chicago starter Dan Wright (0-3) walked two opening fifth and was replaced by Gary Glover, who gave up Bradley’s RBI double.

Cleveland scored another run when Bard hit into a double play, and Broussard followed with his shot to right.

“The guys before me drove in some runs and then I got the homer,” Broussard said. “That gave us a little cushion.”

Thomas’ RBI double in the third gave the White Sox a 3-1 lead.

With the double, Thomas tied Hall of Famer Luke Appling (1930-50) for the most total bases (3,528) in White Sox history. It was also Thomas’ 800th career extra-base hit.

The Indians tied it 3-all in the fourth on rookie Bard’s two-run double. Bard followed singles by Bradley and Jody Gerut with a hard shot into the right-field corner.

Wright, though, escaped more damage by getting Brandon Phillips on a fly to the warning track and Matt Lawton on a popup.

D’Angelo Jimenez led off Chicago’s first with a single, and with one out, Thomas connected for his 10th homer, his first non-solo homer of 2003.

Thomas has a knack for first-inning shots. Of his 385 career homers, 87 have come in Chicago’s first at-bat.

The Indians got a run back in the bottom half on Bradley’s RBI groundout.

Notes

Sabathia is 4-0 in his last five starts with a 1.91 ERA. … White Sox DH Paul Konerko snapped an 0-for-20 slide with a single in the sixth. … Chicago’s trip is its longest since 1984. … Thomas made his third straight start at first. Before Wednesday, the usual DH had not played there since June 21, 2002. … The Indians honored comedian Bob Hope’s 100th birthday during pregame ceremonies. Hope, who turned 100 on Thursday, became a minority owner of the Indians in the late 1940s. His son, Kelly, threw out the first pitch. … Thomas moved up several career lists. His first-inning homer moved him past Dwight Evans for 41st all-time. His three RBIs moved him above Roberto Clemente (1,305) and tied Paul Molitor (1,307) for 82nd. … Sox C Sandy Alomar Jr. left in the fourth with a pulled right oblique and was placed on the 15-day disabled list. Alomar had missed the previous four games with the injury. Josh Paul willbe recalled from Triple-A Charlotte on Saturday.

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