Byrd gets win No. 15 as Indians beat White Sox 8-3
Byrd won for the fifth time in six starts and got his 15th victory Tuesday night as the Indians beat the Chicago White Sox 8-3. The Indians are 15-3 in their last 18 games.
“I have I think three or four starts left and I want to finish up strong,” said Byrd, who beat the White Sox for the third time this season. “I thought I pitched well but you know if we don’t score runs, nobody is talking to me. …
“We have a pretty well-balanced team all the way across the board. We’ve got some youth, we’ve got a few old guys and we’ve got some power and speed,” he added.
Byrd (15-6) allowed three runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings, including two homers by Juan Uribe, as Cleveland increased its lead in the AL Central over Detroit to 6 1/2 games after the Tigers split a doubleheader with Texas.
“Gosh, he wore me out,” Byrd said of Uribe. “He gave me some trouble.”
But Chicago’s pitchers wore themselves out.
Cleveland benefited by the wildness of the White Sox, collecting 10 walks, including two with the bases loaded in a three-run sixth when the Indians broke a 3-3 tie.
Casey Blake doubled to start the sixth against reliever Lance Broadway (0-1) who was replaced one out later by Matt Thornton. Grady Sizemore singled and Asdrubal Cabrera hit an RBI double when White Sox center fielder Jerry Owens misjudged his fly ball near the fence.
Thornton then walked Hafner to load the bases and Ryan Garko to force in a run and give the Indians a 5-3 lead. Another struggling reliever, Mike MacDougal, walked Jhonny Peralta, bringing in the third run of the inning. Cleveland tacked on two more in the seventh on Kelly Shoppach’s grounder and a run-scoring single by Haffner.
“Byrd did a good job of moving the baseball around and expanded the plate when he needed to,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “Cabrera has produced in so many different situations in a short period of time. I can’t say enough how about he’s produced.”
Garko hit his 18th homer to give the Indians a 1-0 lead in the second. Uribe tied the game twice, with a solo shot in the second and a two-run drive in the fourth, his 17th and 18th homers of the season.
Cleveland moved ahead 3-1 in the third and knocked out John Danks, who hit Shoppach and walked Sizemore before giving up a two-run single to Hafner.
Byrd shut out the White Sox on four hits 10 days ago at Jacobs Field and is 3-0 against them in five starts this season. He is 8-2 in his career against the White Sox, including 4-0 at U.S. Cellular Field.
“After last year I wasn’t excited about the way I helped this team,” said Byrd, a 10-game winner a year ago in his first season with the Indians. “I felt like I had a lot more to offer. The season’s not over but this year so far I’ve throw the ball a lot better than last year.”
Danks, meanwhile, is winless in nine starts since his last win July 16. Making his first start since Aug. 30, he lasted 2 2-3 innings—his shortest outing of the season—and gave up three hits, three runs and four walks.
“I didn’t throw strikes for whatever reason,” Danks said. “I was not doing my job.”
The Indians are 7-2 on their 10-game road trip with the finale Wednesday against the White Sox. … Chicago’s 84th loss of the season and 16th in the last 23 games came after manager Ozzie Guillen got a contract extension through 2012. … Chicago’s Jim Thome, two homers shy of 500, was 0-for-4. … Cabrera, who had a tie-breaking homer in Monday night’s win, has a 10-game hitting streak.