Chicago, IL – Shin-Soo Choo's run-scoring groundout in the seventh inning proved to be the difference, as the Cleveland Indians took down the Chicago White Sox, 6-4, in the rubber match of a three-game series.
Vinny Rottino hit a solo homer for the Indians, who went 3-3 on a six-game road trip. Jason Kipnis had two RBI and a run scored.
Cleveland starter Justin Masterson allowed four runs on seven hits over 4 2/3 innings. Tony Sipp (1-2) recorded the final out in the sixth to pick up the win.
"We played a pretty good series, we had a lot of good at-bats today, for the third day in a row we're able to play well against a left-handed pitcher, which we had struggled the whole year," Indians manager Manny Acta said.
Paul Konerko, Alex Rios, A.J. Pierzynski and Alexei Ramirez each knocked in a run for the White Sox, who fell one game behind the Tigers for first place in the AL Central. Detroit beat the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday.
Chicago has dropped seven of its last eight contests.
"We have to find a way to win games. We jump out to a lead and we have to shut them down. Tonight we weren't able to do that," Pierzynski said.
Hector Santiago got the start for Chicago and gave up three runs on five hits over 3 1/3 innings. Matt Thornton (4-9) allowed one run on one hit over 1 1/3 innings of relief to take the loss.
The Indians got on the board in the first inning. Kipnis walked, stole second and raced home on Russ Canzler's single to center.
Chicago responded with three runs in the bottom half. Alejandro De Aza walked and Kevin Youkilis and Adam Dunn singled to load the bases with no outs. Konerko walked to force in a run, Rios hit a sacrifice fly and Pierzynski hit an RBI double off the wall in right to make it 3-1.
Cleveland scored a pair of runs in the fourth to tie the game. With the bases loaded and one out, Brian Omogrosso gave up a two-run single to Kipnis.
The White Sox took the lead back in the fifth after Pierzynski walked, moved to second on a wild pitch and raced home on Ramirez's double off the wall in center.
But the Indians got the run back in the sixth. Choo doubled, Kipnis walked and Brent Lillibridge walked to load the bases with no outs. Carlos Santana followed with a walk to force in a run. However, Nate Jones got Canzler to go down swinging and Thornton got Travis Hafner to ground into a double play.
Cleveland went ahead for good in the seventh. Lou Marson walked and Ezequiel Carrera doubled to put men on second and third with one out. Choo followed with a grounder to first baseman Konerko, who tagged first before going to the plate with the throw. Marson beat the throw to give the Indians a 5-4 margin.
Rottino homered in the eighth to make it a two-run contest.
Chris Perez tossed a scoreless ninth to pick up his 38th save of the season.
Chicago is 9-6 versus the Indians this season ... The Indians went 31-50 on the road this year ... Cleveland shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera left the game with a mid-back strain.