Chicago, IL – Jason Kipnis smacked a run scoring triple in the third and added a three-run homer in the seventh as the Indians downed the White Sox, 7-5, in the rubber match of a three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field on Thursday.
Asdrubal Cabrera belted a solo shot and knocked in two while Casey Kotchman finished with two hits, an RBI and a run scored as Justin Masterson (1-2) got his first win of the season after allowing three runs on eight hits and three walks in 6 1/3 innings.
"I don't know how it happens because they are a good hitting team," said Masterson. "But they're nice enough to not hit when I face them and I appreciate it."
Chris Perez got the final two outs of the game to record his ninth save of the year as the Indians took the last two of the series after dropping the opener.
Adam Dunn launched a two-run blast in the ninth and Alejandro De Aza added three hits and two RBI for Chicago, which has lost seven of its last nine.
John Danks (2-4) tossed seven innings, but surrendered seven runs -- six earned -- on nine hits and a walk to take the loss.
"I've always been my biggest critic and I am very hard on myself," said Danks. "I know I will get this ship righted, but it's getting pretty frustrating."
The Indians struck first in the top of the second as Michael Brantley legged out an infield single and moved to second on Danks' errant throw before coming around to score on a single from Kotchman for a 1-0 lead.
Johnny Damon started a rally in the third, smacking a double into right field and coming around to score on Kipnis' triple into center field before Cabrera plated Kipnis with a single to center field to extended the margin to 3-0.
Chicago pulled within one in the fifth after Kosuke Fukudome worked a leadoff walk and Gordon Beckham followed with a bunt single. Eduardo Escobar then pushed both runners up with a sacrifice bunt and De Aza followed with a two- run single that deflected off of Masterson and shot into right field, allowing Fukudome and Beckham to score.
Cabrera added a run for the Indians with a solo blast in the sixth, but Chicago responded in the bottom half as A.J. Pierzynski doubled with two outs and Alex Rios plated him with a single to keep it a one-run contest.
Cleveland responded in the seventh to build a four-run cushion as Kipnis launched a three-run blast over the wall in right field to extend the lead to 7-3.
The Sox threatened in the ninth when De Aza ripped a leadoff single and Dunn followed two batters later with his seventh of the year off of Dan Wheeler.
Perez then nailed it down after walking Paul Konerko, fanning Pierzynski before inducing a ground out from Rios to end the game.
Masterson improved to 4-5 lifetime against the White Sox over 16 games (12 starts)...Cleveland finished 4-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left three on base while Chicago went 2-for-9 with RISP and stranded 10 men.