Paul Konerko(notes) and Jermaine Dye(notes) drove in two runs apiece Tuesday as the White Sox chased Lee in the fourth inning and pounded the miserable Indians 11-4 in a game called in the seventh to move above .500 for the first time since May 2.
Konerko hit a two-run homer in the first off Lee (4-7), who had worked past the fifth in 47 consecutive starts before being battered for seven runs and 11 hits in three-plus innings.
“It was a bad day,” the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner said. “That’s not in my job description. I’m supposed to go deep into games and give up less runs. It seemed like they knew what was coming with every pitch. One of those games.”
Clayton Richard(notes) (3-1), moved into Chicago’s rotation in May, won for the first time in six June starts. He allowed four runs and four hits and was credited with his first complete game, staying in following a 30-minute rain delay in the fourth.
The left-hander is 5-0 with a 2.37 ERA in six career starts of at least six innings.
Richard was able to block out his matchup with Lee and set down the Indians with ease.
“I knew going in I was facing a great pitcher,” Richard said, “but I couldn’t worry about that. I was facing their hitters, not him. I couldn’t worry about him, as it turned out, our hitters gave me a lead and that always makes it a little easier to go out and throw strikes.”
The umpiring crew finally called it at 11 p.m. following a 57-minute rain delay with two outs in the top of the seventh—the second stoppage of the game and third overall. The first pitch was pushed back from 7:05 to 7:37 by threatening weather.
Lee insisted he wasn’t bothered by an unnecessary 32-minute delay at the start. The Indians had the infield at Progressive Field covered before the first pitch despite mostly sunny skies.
It’s been that kind of season in Cleveland, which has lost 12 of 14 amid speculation manager Eric Wedge’s days could be numbered.
Lee turned in his shortest start since he went only 2 2-3 innings in an 11-0 loss to the White Sox on May 29, 2006. He was unaware of his 47-game streak of lasting until the fifth, the longest in the majors and most by a Cleveland pitcher since Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry went 71 straight in the 1970s.
“That says I’ve been consistent,” Lee said. “It’s over now. So, whatever.”
Lee, who has pitched far better than his record, came in riding a 22-inning scoreless streak against the White Sox, who quickly made sure it didn’t reach 23.
Chicago scored four runs in the first off Lee, highlighted by Konerko’s 13th homer into the Indians’ bullpen.
Alexei Ramirez(notes), who was beaned by Cleveland’s Chris Perez(notes) on Monday, walked with one out in the first and scored on Dye’s double. Konerko then busted out of a 2-for-15 slump with his homer. One out later, Brian Anderson(notes) doubled and scored on Beckham’s single.
NOTES: Hafner is batting .364 with three homers in his last 12 games. … White Sox DH Jim Thome(notes) was delighted to tie Hall of Famer Stan Musial with 1,599 career walks. “It’s very cool because growing up in Peoria (Ill.), you had to know Stan,” Thome said. “He was the man.” … Indians LHP Scott Lewis(notes), who pulled himself from a recent rehab start at Double-A Akron because of elbow soreness, will visit famed orthopedist Dr. James Andrews next week. Andrews performed Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on Lewis in 2003. The Indians are not recommending surgery for Lewis. … Indians RHP Jake Westbrook(notes), who made two rehab starts in the minors before being shut down with soreness, will resume a throwing program next week. Westbrook had Tommy John surgery last June. … Chicago OF Scott Podsednik(notes) got the night off.