Indians 9, White Sox 5

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CHICAGO (AP)—Ben Broussard waited so long for his second homer of the season, a solo shot in a lopsided game would have been OK with him.

Broussard hit a pinch-hit grand slam in the eighth inning and Ronnie Belliard homered in his third straight game to lead the Cleveland Indians over the Chicago White Sox 9-5 Wednesday night.

“I knew everybody was behind me so it was just one of those things where I knew I would get another home run one of these days,” Broussard said. “I’m just glad the monkey is off my back now.”

Casey Blake and Lou Merloni also hit home runs for the Indians, who have won 13 of 20 to pull two games behind the White Sox for second place in the AL Central.

Paul Konerko homered twice and Aaron Rowand also hit one for Chicago, which has lost six of eight.

Cliff Lee, who is currently appealing a six-game suspension for throwing behind Ken Griffey Jr.’s head on June 13, pitched six solid innings. Lee (7-1) gave up three runs and five hits. He struck out six and walked three.

“Cliff was good. Early on he threw a lot of fastballs and he started mixing in his changeup and his breaking ball. He had a pretty good breaking ball tonight, he was able to command it,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said.

White Sox starter Mark Buehrle got his first loss since April 20 against the New York Yankees, a span of 12 starts.

Buehrle gave up three straight singles to Victor Martinez, Casey Blake, and Travis Hafner to start the eighth. Mike Jackson relieved, and on his first pitch, gave up the homer to Broussard, who was hitting for Merloni. It was Broussard’s first career slam and first pinch-hit homer, making it 9-4 Cleveland.

“It was big for us, it was big for Ben. He went up there ready to hit,” Wedge said. “We wanted him to be more aggressive, more assertive and stronger with his swing and utilize the power that he has.”

Buehrle (7-2) pitched seven-plus innings, giving up 10 hits and tied his season high by giving up eight runs—he also gave up eight in his loss to New York. In his last start, Buehrle allowed seven runs against Montreal but did not get a decision.

Buehrle doesn’t plan on pitching in the All-Star game in July.

“I figure I had to have a couple of good ones (starts). And the way I went out there today if they asked me to go I’d almost turn around and say no, I don’t deserve to go. I haven’t thrown the ball the way I should have,” Buehrle said.

Chicago trailed 5-3 in the seventh inning and nearly tied it against Indians reliever Rafeal Betancourt.

With two outs, Frank Thomas reached on a two-base error when left fielder Matt Lawton dropped Thomas’ fly on the warning track. Lawton knocked into center fielder Coco Crisp, who was also in position to catch the ball.

Carlos Lee followed with an RBI-single off the left-field fence. Lee went into his home run trot and music began playing but he was tagged out at second.

“That’s one of my rules, I want them to run the bases but everybody thought the way he hit the ball the way the ball was carrying, everybody thought it was a home run, including myself,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said.

Belliard homered in his third straight game off Buehrle in the third inning for his fourth homer of the season. It’s the first time in his career that he has homered in three consecutive games.

Buehrle walked Martinez leading off the fourth inning and he scored on Hafner’s RBI single to give the Indians a 2-1 lead.

Belliard led off the fifth with a ground-rule double to center and scored on Lawton’s broken bat single.

Trailing 3-1 in the fifth, Rowand hit an opposite-field solo home run to right for Chicago.

The Indians came back and scored two more in the sixth. Casey Blake homered leading off and one out later, Merloni homered to left, giving the Indians a 5-2 lead.

Konerko led off the sixth with his 16th homer of the season off Lee. He alsoled off the eighth with a homer off Betancourt.


: Omar Vizquel made his ninth error of the season in the fourth inning when he misplayed Konerko’s grounder. … The White Sox have homered in 17 straight home games. … Broussard hit Cleveland’s first pinch-hit grand slamsince Casey Parsons did it in 1986 against Toronto.

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