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White Sox sweep Indians with 3-2 win

The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox are no strangers to close games.

With how successful they have been in them lately, they may actually prefer them.

Moises Sierra drove in the winning run in the ninth inning and the White Sox beat the Cleveland Indians 3-2 on Wednesday night after a back-and-forth final two innings to sweep the three-game series.

"These guys feel like they can score late," said Chicago manager Robin Ventura, whose team has won seven of 10, including six by single runs. "They get momentum late in the game when somebody gets on."

After White Sox closer Ronald Belisario (3-3) blew a 2-1 lead in the top of the ninth, Chicago catcher Tyler Flowers reached on a throwing error by Mike Aviles at third. Pinch-runner Leury Garcia then stole second and reached third on a fly ball before Sierra's hit.

"I was looking for a good pitch to hit if it was in the zone," said Sierra, who was 0-for-3 before his winner. "Fortunately, he gave me that and I was able to hit it."

Bryan Shaw (1-1) gave up one unearned run and one hit to take the loss for Cleveland, which is off Thursday after playing 16 straight days.

"Everyone is dragging a little bit," said Indians manager Terry Francona, whose team has lost four in a row. "We need to go home and take the day off, use it to our advantage and then come out and get after it."

First baseman Adam Dunn's sacrifice fly to left with the bases loaded in the eight scored second baseman Gordon Beckham to give the White Sox a 2-1 lead.

The Indians rebounded in the ninth against Belisario with a little help from Dunn.

Left fielder Michael Brantley led off with a single and then second baseman Travis Kipnis, who was 0-for-4 after missing 26 games with a strained right oblique, followed with a shot directly to Dunn at first. After stepping on the bag, Dunn overthrew second base to leave Brantley in scoring position.

After a flyout and an intentional walk to designated hitter Jason Giambi, catcher Yan Gomes singled to right and Brantley slid in before the tag at home on a throw from Sierra to tie the score 2-2.

Each team looked a step slow after extended rain delays pushed Tuesday's game into the early hours and both starting pitchers took full advantage, though neither factored into the decision.

Chicago's Hector Noesi went 7 1/3 innings and gave up five hits and one run with five strikeouts and no walks. The right-hander is 0-4 with the White Sox and has not won since May 6, 2012, when he was with Seattle.

"Hector was great tonight," Ventura said. "He's really transitioned well from going as the long guy in the bullpen to being a starter."

Cleveland's T.J. House gave up one run and five hits in 6 1/3 innings with eight strikeouts and one walk in his second career start.

"I thought he was tremendous," Francona said. "On a night that we're going home pretty frustrated, that was about as encouraging a start as you'll see."

Back-to-back singles to start the seventh by Dunn and shortstop Alexei Ramirez, who was called out trying to take second, ended House's day. Designated hitter Marcus Semien drove in Dunn with a single against Scott Atchison two batters later to tie the score at 1.

Giambi, who came in batting .105 in 19 at-bats this season after two stints on the disabled list, gave the Indians a 1-0 lead with a home run down the line to right in the second inning.

The veteran slugger's 440th career home run came on an 0-2 pitch and was exactly what manager Terry Francona envisioned when he penciled Giambi in as the designated hitter.

"(Giambi) understands so well -- regardless of what his batting average is -- if he gets one mistake tonight and he deposits it into the seats, that can help us win a game," Francona said before the game.

Brantley, who entered with a 13-game hitting streak, was robbed of a single in the first inning when Beckham made a diving stop up the middle and threw him out at first. Francona emerged from the dugout to argue the close call but decided against initiating a replay review.

Beckham had the first hit against House when he singled up the middle with one out in the fourth.

House struck out the side in the fifth, including two straight after a walk to Semien put runners at first and second.

NOTES: White Sox 1B Jose Abreu fielded grounders and took batting practice before Wednesday night's game. Manager Robin Ventura said there were no plans to send the rookie Cuban slugger on a rehab assignment and that he was on schedule to return from the 15-day disabled list on Monday. ... Cleveland 2B Jason Kipnis returned to the lineup and batted fourth after missing 26 games with a strained right oblique. Tyler Sellers was optioned to Triple-A Columbus to make room on the roster. ... After an off dayon Thursday, Cleveland RHP Corey Kluber (5-3, 3.10 ERA) is scheduled to face RHP Juan Nicasio (5-2, 3.61 ERA) on Friday as the Indians host a three-game interleague series against Colorado. ... The White Sox are also off Thursday and will start LHP John Danks (3-4, 4.90 ERA) against RHP Ian Kennedy (3-6, 3.59) and the visiting San Diego Padres on Friday. ... Indians CF Michael Bourn singled with one out in the sixth inning for his 1,000 career hit and LF Michael Brantley followed two batters later with a single to extend his hitting streak to 14 games.
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