CHICAGO (AP)—Indians manager Eric Wedge showed a lot of confidence in Victor Martinez when he asked his No. 3 hitter to attempt his first sacrifice bunt of the season in the 12th inning.
White Sox reliever Dustan Hermanson made a wild throw to third on the bunt allowing the go-ahead run to score in the Indians’ 6-4 victory over Chicago on Sunday.
“In that situation there, I felt like it was a good time to switch it up and try something different,” Wedge said. “Victor is a guy that can control the bat and I felt like he could do it.”
Hermanson (0-1) started the 12th by giving up consecutive walks to Grady Sizemore and Crisp. Martinez bunted and Hermanson tried for the force at third base. His throw went off Joe Crede’s glove and Sizemore scored, making it 5-4. Crisp and Martinez advanced on the throw.
Martinez, the No. 3 hitter, was trying for his first sacrifice bunt of the season.
It appeared Crede had a good chance of catching the throw from Hermanson.
“It was something we work on just about everyday in spring training,” Hermanson said. “It was a bang-bang play, what can you do?”
David Riske (2-2) pitched two scoreless innings for the victory.
Hafner homered with two outs on a 0-1 pitch off White Sox reliever Damaso Marte to take a 4-3 lead in the 10th inning.
But Cleveland closer Bob Wickman gave up a leadoff homer to Thomas in the bottom half. Thomas came off the disabled list on May 30 after offseason surgery on his left ankle and homered for the first time since June 22, 2004, against Cleveland. It was his 437th career home run.
Thomas was happy to get that first homer out of the way.
“Mentally, it’s great for the confidence, third game back in and finally taking that first one out. It relaxes me a little bit and now I get back to business,” Thomas said.
Sizemore led off the fourth with a single and two pitches later Crisp followed with a two-run homer to left off White Sox starter Mark Buehrle, giving the Indians a 2-0 lead.
Indians starter C.C. Sabathia gave up a two-out single to Carl Everett in the fourth and then walked Jermaine Dye. Aaron Rowand followed with an RBI single. Sabathia then hit Chris Widger with a pitch to load the bases, but ended the inning by striking out Juan Uribe.
The Indians made it 3-1 in the fifth. Aaron Boone singled with two outs and then stole second. Sizemore followed with a run-scoring single to right.
Rafael Betancourt relieved Sabathia with two outs in the seventh and a runner on and was greeted by Iguchi with a two-run homer to tie it 3-all.
Sabathia went 6 2-3 innings, giving up two runs on five hits.
Wedge didn’t have any regrets about taking Sabathia out.
“C.C. was at 107 pitches, he was about to face that guy (Iguchi) for the fourth time. We have one of the best bullpens in the league. It was time to make that move,” Wedge said.
Sabathia said he felt fine in the seventh.
“I wasn’t tired I felt good. My velocity was still there and everything else was still there,” Sabathia said.
Buehrle went 6 1-3 innings. He allowed three runs on nine hits. He struck out seven and didn’t give up a walk. It was his shortest outing since April 26 at Oakland when he pitched six innings.
Buehrle has thrown at least six innings in his last 40 starts, which is the longest streak in the majors.
The Indians had the bases loaded in the seventh, but White Sox reliever Neal Cotts got Sizemore to hit into a double play to end the inning.
The Indians also threatened in the ninth when Boone hit a two-out double off the wall in center and advanced to third when Rowand had trouble picking up the ball. Marte came in and struck out Sizemore to end the inning. ^Notes: Rowand extended his hitting streak to 10 games. … Derek Shelton joined the Indians on Sunday as the interim hitting coach. He was the organizational hitting coordinator and will take over the job on for the remainder of the season. … Boone had a season-high three hits. … Scott Podsednik pinch-ran for Everett in the 10th and stole second and third base. He has 30 stolen bases on the season.