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White Sox outslug Jays for third win in row

The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- It was a long night full of long home runs, a long fog delay and short outings for both starting pitchers at U.S. Cellular Field on Monday night.

It was also another argument for Chicago White Sox reliever Jesse Crain to get consideration for the American League's All-Star roster.

Crain pitched out of jams in the seventh and eighth innings to earn his 17th hold, and Chicago earned a 10-6 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

The win wasn't the prettiest, especially with the fog, but Chicago manager Robin Ventura didn't care.

"I'll take ugly," Ventura said. "It doesn't have to be pretty. Right now, we just want wins. We'll start wearing our ('Winning Ugly' 1983) uniforms every day if it's going to be ugly."

The White Sox have won three straight games after losing 10 of 11 following their previous three-game win streak May 24-26 against the Miami Marlins in U.S. Cellular Field.

Crain, who upped his scoreless-appearance streak to 26 games, came on with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh. He got Melky Cabrera to pop out to end the threat, then wriggled out of trouble in the eighth by getting two straight outs after Adam Lind's double put runners on second and third with one out -- the last out on a great play by shortstop Alexei Ramirez on a grounder up the middle.

The fog rolled in off nearby Lake Michigan early in the game and stuck around all night -- even causing a 1 hour, 10-minute delay during Chicago's half of the third inning.

"It was tough because it would clear a little bit and then the wind would bring some more in," Blue Jays bench coach DeMarlo Hale said. "When (crew chief Jim Joyce) stopped it, I thought the wind had died down and the fog was just kind of staying.

"I'm very happy with our effort, but it was challenging. I've never been a part of a fog-out, if that's what you want to call it, but this is Chicago, and the weather can be tricky for sure."

The 10 runs set a season high for Chicago, which hadn't scored more than seven in a game since May 18 in a 12-9 loss on the road to the Los Angeles Angels. The White Sox's bats appear to be waking up, though. This was the third straight game the Sox came up with clutch hits to secure wins.

This time, they tacked on three runs in the eighth to provide a comfortable four-run margin for closer Addison Reed in the ninth.

Toronto's Jose Bautista and Chicago's Adam Dunn each hit two home runs. Bautista went 2-for-4 and drove in five runs to tie his career high for one game, while Dunn tied his career high in hits for a single game by going 4-for-4 with five RBIs.

"It's tough to sit here each and every day and tell you how good you feel and you look up and it's 0-for-4," said Dunn, who came into the game hitting .165. "Tonight was good. It felt good, but it feels better to get this game in and win."

Instead of giving the Jays' taxed bullpen a welcome break, starter R.A. Dickey only lasted five innings -- interrupted in the third inning by the fog delay. Even after visibility cleared enough to resume, the low-hanging clouds floated around the upper reaches of the stadium the rest of the game.

Apparently it didn't affect the hitters' vision.

Dickey and White Sox starter Dylan Axelrod were both roughed up by the long ball. Dickey gave up seven runs on 10 hits, including both of Dunn's home runs, while Axelrod gave up six runs and three homers among the eight hits he allowed in four-plus innings.

Bautista drilled his second homer of the game, a three-run shot, to left field in the top of the fourth to make it 5-4 Toronto.

"It was tough," Axelrod said of the conditions. "Those fly balls, I was cringing every time. It was nice, too. I didn't see all those home runs go out, so that was cool."

Dunn, whose first home run traveled 444 feet to center, came up with two runners aboard in the bottom of the fourth and launched his second homer to right field. That gave the Sox a 7-5 lead after the ball smashed into the stands 441 feet away and bounced back onto the field.

"That's the first time I've ever played in those conditions," Dickey said. "It was tough, but I still had opportunities to make some big pitches with two outs, and unfortunately a knuckleball is tough. Sometimes, when it doesn't break, it'll just sit there on a tee for guys like Adam Dunn to hit out of the park -- and that's exactly what he did."

Colby Rasmus led off the fifth with a solo shot to cut the Chicago lead to 7-6, with his majestic blast traveling 426 feet to right-center.

It was the third two-homer game of the season and 20th of his career for Bautista. Dunn's two-homer game was the 36th of his career and second this season, also doing it May 15 at Minnesota's Target Field.

A day after boiling over because of a strikeout in the ninth inning of a loss Sunday that led to an ejection, Bautista put the Blue Jays up 2-0 in the top of the first with his 13th home run -- hit to the opposite field after Cabrera led the game off with a single.

"That's the kind of player he is," Hale said. "He came out and gave us the lead and also had another big swing for the three-run homer."

Chicago didn't waste time responding.

The White Sox took a 3-2 lead in their half of the second by plating three runs on five singles as the fog poured into the ballpark and progressively limited visibility until the delay began a little more than an hour into the game.

NOTES: Blue Jays LHP Mark Buehrle made his first return to U.S. Cellular Field in a different uniform than the home black and whites of the White Sox, who featured him as an anchor of the starting rotation for 12 years. After signing as a free agent with the Miami Marlins last season, Buehrle was traded to Toronto in the offseason. He will not pitch against his former team in the three-game series, but said it was nice to see some familiar faces. "When you do something for 12 years of your life for six months (a year), besides being on the road, it just felt normal coming here." Buehrle helped the Sox win the 2005 World Series and threw a no-hitter here in 2007 followed by a perfect game in 2009. The White Sox gave him a video tribute on the board in center field between the first and second innings, which prompted a standing ovation. ... Blue Jays manager John Gibbons missed Monday's game to attend his son's high school graduation. Hale filled in.
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