Published May 26, 2012
CHICAGO – The Cleveland Indians were looking to build on a big sweep. This wasn't what they had in mind.
Adam Dunn hit his 15th homer, A.J. Pierzynski and Dayan Viciedo both went deep for the second time in as many nights, and the Chicago White Sox beat the Cleveland Indians 9-3 on Friday for their seventh win in eight games.
"It was not a pretty game," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "I continue to feel we haven't been playing our best baseball yet."
They certainly weren't at their best Friday. After winning eight of 10 and sweeping Detroit, the AL Central leaders simply fell flat against the second-place White Sox.
Jeanmar Gomez got hit hard. A team that has struggled all season against left-handers had problems against another one — this time rookie Jose Quintana — and it all added up to an ugly loss.
Pierzynski also tripled and scored three runs while driving in two. Viciedo knocked in two runs and scored twice, and the White Sox gave Quintana (1-0) all the support he needed in his first major league start.
The White Sox again used the long ball to take out the AL Central leaders after hitting five homers Thursday against Minnesota. Dunn drove a two-run shot in the first after Cleveland scored a run in the top half. Pierzynski connected leading off the second, and Chicago broke open a one-run game in the sixth, scoring three times with two outs while chasing Gomez (3-3).
Alexei Ramirez knocked him out with an RBI single after Pierzynski and Viciedo walked, and Alejandro De Aza drove in two more runs with a bases loaded single off Jairo Asencio to make it 6-2.
The White Sox added three more with two outs in the seventh, with Alex Rios reaching on a single to third that initially was ruled an error and scoring on Pierzynski's triple before Viciedo hit a two-run homer.
It's not what the Indians envisioned after taking three from the Tigers, the team many thought would win the division. But the second-place White Sox are looking good at the moment.
They swept the Cubs, took two of three from Minnesota, and they didn't blink with the scheduling taking a tougher turn, pulling within 2 ½ games of Cleveland on Friday.
"I think it's fun that way," the Indians' Jason Kipnis said. "It was good what we did against Detroit here at home, but now we got to turn our focus to these guys. These guys are closer in the division than Detroit is right now so it's not like, 'Oh, we beat Detroit — we did it.' ... This team is good and we know that."
While Gomez simply had a rough night, giving up six runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings, Quintana gave the White Sox what they needed.
Called up from Triple-A Charlotte with John Danks going on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained left shoulder, the 23-year-old left-hander allowed two runs and four hits in six innings. He wasn't quite as dominant against the Indians this time, after pitching 5 2-3 scoreless innings of relief against them in his only other appearance on May 7, but he was good enough and showed some poise, particularly in a tight spot in the fifth.
With runners on second and third, he retired Asdrubal Cabrera on a foul pop and Carlos Santana on a groundout to end the threat.
"I knew I needed to get these outs," Quintana said through an interpreter. "It was dire for us to have this win, and so all I did was go out there and concentrate on each pitch that I was pitching and just try to get a strike on each one that I was throwing."
Notes: Cabrera was replaced at shortstop in the seventh because of tightness in his left hamstring, and Santana, the catcher, left in the eighth after being struck by a foul tip. Acta said they could have stayed in if necessary but will be evaluated on Saturday. ... The Indians called up SS Juan Diaz from Double-A Akron and optioned starting pitcher Zach McAllister to Triple-A Columbus before the game. Acta said Diaz will likely be sent back to the minors on Monday, when pitcher Josh Tomlin (sore right wrist) is expected to be activated from the 15-day DL. Tomlin threw a 50-pitch bullpen session Thursday and reported no pain. ... Travis Hafner underwent an MRI on Thursday on his right knee and took an anti-inflammatory for irritation in the meniscus. He did not travel to Chicago. ... White Sox 2B Gordon Beckham made a neat play in the third when he raced back to make a sliding catch on Carlos Santana's foul down the right-field line. ... Jake Peavy starts Saturday for Chicago, with Derek Lowe going for the Indians.