White Sox 3, Indians 2
CHICAGO (AP)—Ben Davis was just trying to keep his at-bat going when he suddenly hit the ball into the outfield.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Davis capped a nine-pitch at-bat against Rafael Betancourt with a drive to the right-center field gap that scored Timo Perez from first in the Chicago White Sox’s 3-2 win over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.
“It felt like I was up there for about half an hour,” said Davis, who was credited only with a single after connecting on a 3-2 pitch. “He was looking over at Timo and I was fouling balls off. It’s just hard getting the bat head out against that guy. He’s got a good fastball. I was just cheating as much as I could to get the bat head out and hit it hard.”
Grady Sizemore cut off Davis’ shot before it could get to the wall but Perez never hesitated, racing home and sliding in under catcher Victor Martinez’s tag — snapping the White Sox’s four-game losing streak.
The White Sox nearly let this one get away and cost Jose Contreras a win in his first home start with Chicago, when Martinez hit a solo homer off Damaso Marte with one out in the ninth to tie the game at 2.
Shingo Takatsu (5-3) got the last two outs in the ninth. He earned the win after blowing a save against the Indians on Saturday.
“As a reliever, I have to be good and ready to pitch again in the next game,” Takatsu said through an interpreter.
Contreras allowed one run and five hits with nine strikeouts in eight innings. The right-hander was acquired from the New York Yankees on July 31. He won his first start with the White Sox in Kansas City last Tuesday, allowing two earned runs in six innings.
“He could have told the batters that the forkball was coming and it wouldn’t have mattered today because he had such great command,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said.
“You knew it was coming and still couldn’t hit it,” Cleveland’s Matt Lawton said. “That’s how good it was.”
Chicago ended Cleveland’s four-game winning streak and climbed back into a second-place tie in the AL Central with the Indians. The White Sox also stopped a six-game home losing slide.
Elarton allowed two runs on five hits with six strikeouts in six innings.
“I struggled with my breaking ball in the first three innings,” he said.
Ben Broussard’s double in the seventh cut the lead to 2-1.
Marte replaced Contreras to start the ninth.
After Travis Hafner struck out, Martinez homered to left to hand Marte his fifth blown save in nine attempts.
In his only previous start at U.S. Cellular Field on Sept. 23, 2003, Contreras pitched eight scoreless innings in a 7-0 Yankee win. … Carlos Lee, the White Sox’s usual left fielder, was in the DH slot Sunday. He had fouled a ball off his left knee in the eighth inning Saturday night. Carl Everett played left Sunday. … Davis has 12 hits in his last 28 at-bats. He had been 3-for-33 with Seattle before the White Sox traded for him on June 27.