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CHICAGO – Dayan Viciedo and Alex Rios each threw out a runner at the plate, and the Chicago White Sox beat Alex Sanabia and the Miami Marlins 5-3 on Sunday to sweep their weekend series.
The White Sox have won five of six and nine of 12 to climb back to .500 for the first time since they were 4-4 on April 10. Dylan Axelrod (3-3) benefited from a two-run homer by Adam Dunn and a tiebreaking two-run double from Alejandro De Aza to pick up his third consecutive victory.
Sanabia returned to the mound for the first time since cameras caught him spitting on the ball during a start against Philadelphia last Monday. He said he didn't know it was illegal, and it looks as if Major League Baseball has no plans to discipline the 24-year-old right-hander.
Sanabia (3-7) pitched into the seventh inning against the Phillies to end a personal five-game losing streak. But he was unable to sustain that success against Chicago (24-24).
Dunn drove the first pitch he saw in the first inning over the wall in left for an opposite-field shot that snapped an 0-for-17 rut. The big slugger, who is playing through a back issue, has six homers in his last 12 games and 12 overall on the season.
De Aza drove in two more with a two-out drive into the gap in left-center in the second, lifting the White Sox to a 4-2 lead.
Marcell Ozuna, Justin Ruggiano and Nick Green each had two hits and an RBI for Miami, which has dropped five straight and 12 of 14. Sanabia allowed four runs and six hits in four innings.
Ozuna, Chris Coghlan and Ruggiano started the second with consecutive singles to bring home one run, but Coghlan was easily cut down by Viciedo while trying to score on Ruggiano's base hit into left field. The throw beat Coghlan to the plate, and Hector Gimenez held on when the center fielder made an attempt to dislodge the ball.
Rios bobbled Ruggiano's single to right in the sixth, then recovered in time to throw out Ozuna in a close play at home. Marlins manager Mike Redmond came out for a brief argument before returning to the dugout.
Rios tacked on an RBI single in the eighth to extend Chicago's lead to 5-3, giving the White Sox some momentum going into four straight games against the crosstown Cubs beginning Monday night.
Axelrod was charged with three runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings. Matt Lindstrom, Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain then combined to get the ball to Addison Reed, who worked the ninth for his 17th save in 18 chances.
Crain pitched a perfect eighth to run his scoreless streak to 20 consecutive outings covering 18 1-3 innings. Reed has converted his last seven save opportunities.
NOTES: Marlins reliever Wade LeBlanc pitched three perfect innings. ... The White Sox traded minor league INF Drew Garcia to the Colorado Rockies for a player to be named. The 27-year-old Garcia hit .222 with 12 RBIs in 24 games for Triple-A Charlotte this season. ... White Sox manager Robin Ventura said C Tyler Flowers (back spasms) was available, but he wanted to hold him out as a precaution. Flowers has missed three consecutive games. ... White Sox LHP Chris Sale, who was scratched from his start on Wednesday due to mild shoulder tendinitis, remains in line to start Tuesday against the Cubs. ... Miami faces Tampa Bay on Monday afternoon, with Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez (2-2, 3.31 ERA) opposing RHP Jake Odorizzi (0-0, 5.40 ERA). ... White Sox LHP Jose Quintana (3-1, 3.48 ERA) faces Cubs RHP Jeff Samardzija (2-6, 3.25 ERA) on Monday night in the first of four consecutive games between the crosstown rivals.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap