Indians 5, White Sox 2

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CLEVELAND (AP)—The Chicago White Sox can’t figure out why they are playing so badly. They had better find out quickly.

Milton Bradley hit a two-run double and Brian Anderson earned his first win in eight starts for the Cleveland Indians, who defeated Chicago 5-2 to complete a three-game sweep Monday.

The White Sox dropped to 2-5 with six games to play on their longest trip in 19 years.

“More than anything, this is discouraging,” White Sox manager Jerry Manuel said. “We’re reaching and searching for all the positives we can find. We’ve got to keep pushing.”

White Sox management has maintained that Manuel’s job is safe, but there has been speculation the sixth-year skipper may be released during the remainder of the four-city, 14-day trip.

“This whole thing is tough to figure out,” said Chicago first baseman Paul Konerko, who went 0-for-3 and has one hit in 27 at-bats (.037) over his last nine games. “If we get down and negative, that is not going to work. We have to stay together.”

The rebuilding Indians pulled within 1 1/2 games of third-place Chicago in the AL Central after starting 7-20. Cleveland came from behind to win each game of the rain-shortened series to extend its season-high winning streak to five. It was their fourth series win in their last five, going 11-5 over the stretch.

“This is more indicative of how we want to play,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said.

Bradley put Cleveland ahead 3-2 by lining a two-run double high off the left-field wall against Bartolo Colon (5-5) in the sixth inning.

“I could feel myself over-swinging against him earlier,” Bradley said. “So I just went with the pitch and ball jumped off my bat.”

Anderson (3-5) allowed two runs and five hits over six innings and won for the first time since April 9. His last outing was two innings of hitless relief in a 5-2 win in Detroit on Tuesday.

“It’s been awhile, so it feels good to get that off my back,” Anderson said.

In his previous start, a 12-3 loss at Boston on May 24, the left-hander allowed eight hits and eight runs—just three earned—in five innings.

D’Angelo Jimenez drove in both runs against Anderson, hitting his sixth homer to lead off the game and adding an RBI single in the fifth.

“I’ve faced him before and just feel comfortable against him,” said Jimenez, who went 2-for-3 against Anderson and is 12-for-20 against him overall.

Danys Baez, the Indians’ fourth pitcher, worked the ninth for his 11th save.

Colon, who pitched for Cleveland from 1997 until being traded last June, allowed four runs and seven hits over six innings, striking out six.

The right-hander gave up a solo homer to Jody Gerut in the fourth.

“It was a slider, the first one he threw me,” Gerut said. “Early on, he threw a lot of off-speed pitches that threw us for a loop. When you have as many weapons as he has, he’s a pitcher who can toy with you.”

Colon did just that in the first inning. He gave up a first-pitch single to Matt Lawton, then struck out the side, mixing several changeups and curves with one 98-mph fastball.

Chicago went ahead 2-1 in the fifth on consecutive one-out singles by Joe Borchard, Miguel Olivo and Jimenez.

Lawton opened the Indians’ sixth with the only walk allowed by Colon, and went to second on an infield hit by Omar Vizquel. Bradley doubled high off the wall in left for two runs. Ben Broussard’s two-out single scored Bradley.

Bradley has reached base safely in 40 of 41 games, and has eight hits in his last 15 at-bats, with six RBIs.

“I’m just feeling comfortable, relaxing, and enjoying the game of baseball,” said Bradley.

Pinch-hitter Casey Blake made it 5-2 with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly inthe eighth.

Notes

Jimenez’s homer was his first leading off a game, first this season batting right-handed and second in two days. … Overall against Cleveland in his career, Jimenez has batted .403 (25-for-62), including .447 this season with nine of his 19 RBIs. … Colon’s second strikeout of the game, Ellis Burks, was the 1,000th of his career. … Cleveland’s five-game winning streakis its longest since winning 10 in a row April 3-13, 2002.

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