White Sox 7, Indians 3
CHICAGO (AP)—Frank Thomas wasn’t about to let a little slump hold him back.
Thomas, in an 0-for-11 slide, came to plate in the seventh with two out, two on and the White Sox trailing Cleveland by a run. He hit the first pitch from reliever Danys Baez into the seats in left field and the White Sox went on to win 7-3 Sunday.
“All season I’ve had my little stretches where I’ve struggled, and I’ve come out swinging every time,” Thomas said. “That was my whole mind-set. I was not looking for a little single, I was looking to smoke the baseball.”
Chicago swept the three-game series and is 10 games over .500 for the first time this season. The White Sox remain tied with Minnesota for first in the AL Central and host the Twins for four games starting Monday.
“Frank is a big key for us,” Chicago manager Jerry Manuel said. “When he goes and gets those big hits the other guys feed off it. And I think it takes some pressure off some guys.”
Dan Wright and five Chicago relievers held down the Indians, who have dropped six straight.
Baez (1-8) threw 1 2-3 innings, giving up three runs and two hits while walking two and striking out one.
“I didn’t think he’d swing at the first pitch but he swung at the one I gave him, which was up and in,” Baez said. “This is the toughest time for me in the bullpen in the big leagues. Nothing is happening the right way.”
Cliff Lee gave up just three hits over the first 5 1-3 innings and didn’t allow a runner past second. He was removed for Baez after Ordonez’s single.
Lee allowed two runs and four hits, walking four and striking out four.
Cleveland went ahead again in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Jhonny Peralta, but Thomas followed with his 39th homer.
Chicago added two more runs in the eighth on a two-run homer by Paul Konerko off reliever Dave Lee.
Wright, making his first start in more than a month, went five innings, giving up two runs on five hits.
The Indians got on the board first when Ben Broussard hit his 14th homer of the season.
Cleveland tacked on another run when Casey Blake led off the sixth with his 17th home run of the year, but blew a chance to add to the lead. Jody Gerut followed Blake by tripling to center on a ball misplayed by Chicago’s Carl Everett.
But Gerut was tagged out in a rundown two batters later when, with the Chicago infield drawn in, he tried to come home on a grounder to third by Victor Martinez.
The same thing happened an inning later to the Indians’ Angel Santos on agrounder to shortstop. ^Notes: Gerut is on pace to become the first player to lead the Indians in home runs and RBIs since Joe Charboneau in 1980. … Lee is 2-1 in five starts sincehis recall from Triple-A Buffalo on Aug. 16.