White Sox 5, Indians 3

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CLEVELAND (AP)—Ozzie Guillen would rather have given his closer a night off, but Shingo Takatsu got the Chicago White Sox out of a big jam.

Takatsu struck out Matt Lawton with two on and two outs to preserve the White Sox’s 5-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Saturday night.

“When you are up by four in the ninth, you don’t want to bring in your closer,” Guillen said. “But we had to go to him and he did the job. He stopped them.”

Takatsu got two outs for his 13th save in 14 chances after Jon Adkins gave up consecutive one-out homers to Casey Blake and Ben Broussard in the ninth.

His only blown save came Aug. 7 at Chicago, when Lawton hit a three-run homer in the ninth for a 6-5 Cleveland win.

Paul Konerko hit a three-run homer and Jose Contreras had another strong start for Chicago, which tied the Indians for second place in the AL Central.

It was Chicago’s third victory in 10 games and second in three nights over Cleveland, which has lost 11 of 13.

Contreras (12-6) waited out a 2-hour, 46-minute rain delay at the start and then baffled the Indians with an assortment of off-speed pitches for 6 2-3 innings. He gave up one run and six hits, striking out six in improving to 4-1 in six starts since being acquired from the New York Yankees on July 31.

“I didn’t feel comfortable at the beginning,” Contreras said. “Then I started throwing strikes and did OK.”

Juan Uribe put the White Sox ahead with a two-out RBI single in Chicago’s four-run fifth off Cliff Lee (10-6).

Joe Crede lofted a one-out fly ball to left that fell between shortstop Omar Vizquel and left fielder Matt Lawton for a double. Crede went to third on Joe Borchard’s flyout to right. After Aaron Rowand walked, Uribe hit an 0-2 pitch up the middle to score Crede.

Konerko then hit a 1-2 pitch the opposite way for his 32nd homer and a 4-0 lead.

“The ball always carries well to right field here,” Konerko said. “I hit it pretty good, but not that good. I wasn’t sure it was going out.”

Lee thought he had Konerko struck out two pitches before serving up a high fastball, and told plate umpire Alfonso Marquez so.

“It was a strike,” Lee said. “It was called a ball, but it was a strike. I went back and looked at the video.

“I had a couple pitches not called my way in a crucial point in the game. He missed the calls, but what can I do?”

Indians manager Eric Wedge said the left-hander must try to maintain focus when that happens.

“He has to put his emotions in the right direction,” Wedge said.

The White Sox made it 5-0 in the sixth. Ross Gload drew a leadoff walk and went to third on a double to right-center by Ben Davis that center fielder Coco Crisp got his glove on with a leap at the wall, but couldn’t hold.

One out later, Crede singled through a drawn-in infield to score Gload, but Davis was thrown out at the plate by Lawton.

Lee gave up five runs and eight hits over 5 2-3 innings. The left-hander is 0-5 with a 9.50 ERA in eight starts since July 16 after starting the season 10-1.

Blake’s two-out RBI single got Cleveland within 5-1 in the sixth. Then, with runners on second and third, Contreras struck out Broussard.

Contreras went 3-0 in his first four starts for Chicago until giving up five runs and walking a career-high seven in a 7-0 loss to Detroit on Monday.

Right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, the Indians’ No. 1 pick in 2002, made his major league debut, pitching a scoreless ninth.

Notes

The rainstorm cut short festivities honoring the 50th anniversary of Cleveland’s 1954 AL champions. Instead of a big pregame ceremony, 1954 players Bob Feller, Bobby Avila, Rudy Regalado and Hal Naragon rode around the warning track in 1950’s vintage cars as film clips were shown on the scoreboard. … Konerko matched his career high in homers, set in 2001. He’s 5-for-14 (.357) with two homers and five RBIs in his career against Lee. … Rowand went 0-for-1 with two walks, ending his hitting streak at 11 games. He also was hit by a pitch and made an error in center. … Contreras is 12-2 in 16 starts when pitching six or more innings.

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