The playoff push continues Friday afternoon for the Cleveland Indians, as they resume a four-game road series against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.
The Indians are 1 1/2 games off the final wild card berth in the American League and opened this Windy City set in impressive fashion, handing the White Sox a 14-3 beatdown to win for the seventh time in 11 tries.
Nick Swisher hit a solo homer and Ryan Raburn belted a three-run shot in the first inning. The Indians also had a seven-run fifth inning, which was highlighted by Asdrubal Cabrera's homer and Raburn's two-run single. Raburn ended with three hits and five RBI, while Swisher collected two hits, three runs scored and three runs batted in for the Indians.
"He not only gets his, but he gives us a lot of production for a guy that plays maybe half the year or not even that," Indians manager Terry Francona said of Raburn, who has 10 BI in his last three games.
Swisher has three home runs and nine RBI over his last six games.
Cleveland starter Corey Kluber benefited from the run support and tossed five innings of two-run ball. Although it's still a longshot to win the AL Central, the Indians are six games behind Detroit for first place.
Indians rookie Danny Salazar will take the hill Friday and is 1-2 with a 2.92 earned run average in seven starts. Salazar lasted four innings in Sunday's 2-1 loss to the New York Mets and did not record a decision after he was pulled with an 80-pitch count.
Salazar, a right-hander, will get his first taste of the AL Central rivalry with the White Sox and is 0-2 in four road assignments.
Chicago has lost three in a row and 12 of its last 14 games, and received another poor outing from John Danks. Danks lasted only four innings and was touched for seven runs -- six earned -- and nine hits.
"I just couldn't do what I wanted to do," Danks said.
Paul Konerko homered and both Avisail Garcia and Marcus Semien ended with two hits for the White Sox, basement dwellers in the AL Central.
The White Sox are 1-3 on a 10-game homestand and have lost nine in a row to the Indians. The Sox are just 2-12 against Cleveland this season.
Chicago will send Hector Santiago to the mound Friday and he is 4-8 with a 3.44 ERA in 32 games (21 starts). Santiago is 1-3 in his previous four decisions and did not factor in the outcome of a 4-3 loss at Baltimore on Saturday, when he allowed only two runs in five innings with four strikeouts and two walks. He issued 14 walks in his previous four outings.
Santiago, who is 1-3 in 13 games (10 starts) at home, will look to stay unbeaten against the Indians. The southpaw is 2-0 with a 4.82 ERA in eight career meetings (3 starts) with the Tribe.