White Sox 5, Indians 3

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CHICAGO (AP)—Carlos Lee hit the wall and held the ball, jarring himself with a leaping first-inning catch that got the Chicago White Sox started.

“It was a huge play, it was one of the better plays I’ve seen Carlos make since I’ve been here,” Paul Konerko said.

Konerko added a three-run homer, and the White Sox held off the Cleveland Indians 5-3 Friday night to remain tied with Minnesota for the AL Central lead.

Lee saved Chicago starter Jon Garland at least one run in the first by leaping to catch Ben Broussard’s liner with a runner at second and two outs.

After hitting the wall, Lee had the wind knocked out of him and stayed on the ground for several minutes before jogging to the dugout.

“It would have put them ahead with another guy at second, maybe even third if the ball rattles around,” Konerko added. “A big catch.”

Garland (11-10) allowed two runs and five hits in 7 1-3 innings, improving to 2-7 against the Indians in his career. He saluted his defense, especially Lee.

“I think that turned the game around, even though it was the top of the first,” Garland said. “Our bench sees a catch like that and it goes crazy.”

Konerko homered in the second inning, and Magglio Ordonez added a solo shot in the fifth off Billy Traber (6-8) as the White Sox built a 5-0 lead, then survived Cleveland’s eighth-inning rally.

“You don’t come back all the way, it seems like a wasted effort,” Cleveland’s Travis Hafner said. “It’s good to fight and put yourself in a position to win, just not to fall short.”

Garland lost his shutout bid in the seventh when Broussard tripled and Hafner hit an RBI single. Brandon Phillips homered with one out in the eighth, making it 5-2 and finishing Garland.

After Scott Sullivan gave up a single to Coco Crisp and walked Casey Blake, Damaso Marte hit Jody Gerut with a pitch that loaded the bases. Broussard’s RBI grounder to first made it 5-3 and put runners at second and third before Marte fanned Alex Escobar to end the inning.

Tom Gordon got two outs for his ninth save.

Konerko’s 16th homer followed a hit batter and a single by Carl Everett. Joe Crede doubled in a run in the fourth and Ordonez connected for his 26th homer in the fifth to make it 5-0.

Traber, a rookie who pitched a one-hitter earlier this season, lasted just 4 2-3 innings, giving up five runs and nine hits.

“The season’s long and wears on you period. Success makes it seem shorter,” Traber said. “That’s why this game ain’t easy.”

Everett had three of Chicago’s 11 hits on a night the White Sox honored their 1983 AL West championship team. Both the old and the current White Sox were enjoying themselves on a perfect September night for baseball.

“It’s a good time of the year. It’s like it was in 2000,” Konerko said of the White Sox’s last trip to the playoffs. You have more energy when you’re inthe race.”


Lee had a painful first couple of innings. Not only was he shaken up after making his first-inning catch, he was hit in the back by a pitch from Traber…. Traber is 0-6 on the road in 14 appearances this season. … Garland needs one more win to match his career high set last season. … Everett had been in an 0-for-14 skid before his first single. … The Indians lost theirfourth straight.

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