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Well-rested McAllister hurls Indians past White Sox

The SportsXchange

CLEVELAND -- Zach McAllister spent most of the week waiting and waiting for his turn to pitch. Saturday his turn finally arrived and he made the most of it.

McAllister pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing one earned run with six strikeouts and no walks, to help lead the Cleveland Indians to a 9-4 win over the Chicago White Sox.

It was the second strong performance in a row by a Cleveland starter. Friday night Justin Masterson pitched a five-hit shutout in a 1-0 Indians victory.

McAllister was almost as good on Saturday. He certainly was well rested. Consecutive rainouts earlier in the week, followed by a desire to keep No. 1 starter Masterson on his regular day to pitch, which was Friday, meant McAllister had three extra days of rest between starts.

"I honestly don't think it bothered him at all," said Indians manager Terry Francona.

"No, the layoff didn't bother me," said McAllister. "My job is to come in ready to pitch whether I've had a lot of time off or no time off."

McAllister's only bumpy inning was the first, when he gave up two runs (both of them unearned) on two hits. After that McAllister was almost unhittable. He held the White Sox scoreless on three hits over the next five innings.

"He threw quality strikes, on both sides of the plate. Nothing down the middle," said Francona.

That allowed the Indians to mount a comeback, and it didn't take long for them to do it. In the bottom of the first inning Ryan Raburn drew a two-out walk and Nick Swisher slugged his first home run in a Cleveland uniform, a towering blast over the left-field wall off Chicago starter Chris Sale that tied it at 2-2.

It was the beginning of a long day for Sale, who never made it out of the fifth inning and gave up a career-high eight runs.

"I'm just trying to forget about this one as best I can," he said.

After the first inning it was all Cleveland. The Indians made it 3-2 in the third inning on an RBI single by Mark Reynolds, who matched his career high with five RBI.

The Indians blew the game open, and knocked Sale out of the game, with a six-run, two-homer fifth inning. Asdrubal Cabrera led the inning off with a single and went to third on a double by Raburn. Swisher was hit by a pitch, loading the bases.

Reynolds then pounded a 1-1 pitch from Sale over the left-field wall for his fifth home run of the season, a grand slam that made it 7-2.

"It was a hanging slider right over the plate. You're not getting away with that here or anywhere," said Sale.

"He seemed to be in the middle of the plate a lot," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Sale. "When you get it over the middle of the plate they have some guys who can swing the bat. They didn't miss."

Making Reynolds' blast even more impressive is that it came on a cold and rainy day. The temperature at game time was 44 degrees, with a 14 mph wind.

"This was not a good day to be a hitter," said Reynolds. "If you don't hit the ball on the barrel you won't feel your hands for a couple of innings."

Reynolds said hitting a home run was the last thing on his mind.

"I was just trying to hit a fly ball to get the run home and I put a better swing on it than I expected," he said.

Sale hit the next batter, Michael Brantley, with a pitch, prompting a warning to both benches from home plate umpire Ed Hickox.

Sale took full responsibility for the pitch.

"That was me being an idiot, honestly," he said. "Going out there and trying to overthrow and blow it by him. It got away and hit him. If you're going to hit a guy you don't do it there. I know enough about the game that if I was going to do it intentionally it's not going to be at that time. Not only does that look bad on my part, it looks bad on my team."

One out later, Sale was relieved by Deunte Heath, and Heath's first pitch was blasted over the center-field wall by Yan Gomes, a 415-foot two-run homer that made it 9-2.

Alejandro De Aza's two-run home run off Indians reliever Bryan Shaw in the seventh inning accounted for the White Sox's final runs.

NOTES: Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis was a late scratch due to left elbow inflammation... Catcher Carlos Santana was in the Indians' original starting lineup, but he was scratched after batting practice due to continued pain in his bruised left thumb. Santana hasn't played since April 8... White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and is now hitless in his last 21 at bats and is in a 2-for-26 slide... Chicago outfielder Alex Rios went 0-for-4, which snapped his 10-game hitting streak that had been the longest in the majors. Rios had also hit safely in 16 consecutive games going back to last year.
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