Streaking Indians eye sweep of White Sox
Right-hander Justin Masterson aims for a third straight victory on Thursday afternoon when the streaking Cleveland Indians try to finish a four-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field.
The Indians won their seventh consecutive game overall and seventh in a row against the White Sox on Wednesday, when Carlos Santana's solo home run in the 10th inning provided a 6-5 margin.
Santana led off the bottom of the 10th by blasting a full-count fastball from Dylan Axelrod (3-7) into the right-field seats for the Indians' league-leading ninth walk-off win of the year.
Chris Perez (4-1) pitched a scoreless top of the 10th to earn the victory for the Indians.
Jason Kipnis and Santana each drove in two runs while Michael Brantley and Michael Bourn each added an RBI for Cleveland.
Jeff Keppinger drove in two runs while Alexei Ramirez, Alex Rios and Adam Dunn added an RBI each for the White Sox, who have dropped six in a row.
Masterson dropped a 7-0 decision to Detroit on July 6 to fall to 10-7 on the season, but has since gone 2-0 in three starts, including defeats of Minnesota and Texas on July 21 and 27.
In those two games, the 28-year-old combined to allow a single run on six hits in 14 2/3 innings.
He last faced the White Sox on June 30 and went the nine-inning distance in a 4-0 triumph, allowing six hits, walking one and striking out eight to improve to 7-5 in his career against Chicago.
He's opposed by tough-luck lefty Chris Sale, who's among the league's best with a 2.69 earned run average through 19 starts, but has won just six of 16 decisions.
The product of Florida Gulf Coast University is 1-8 in his last 10 appearances, including a 1-0 loss to Kansas City on July 27 in which he pitched nine innings, walked one and struck out seven, but allowed the one run on seven hits.
He was on the short end of the June 30 game against Masterson as well, exiting after eight innings of three-run ball while falling to 2-2 in 16 career meetings with Cleveland.
Sale's lone win since May came on July 11 at Detroit, where he won a 6-3 verdict after allowing 10 hits and three runs in 6 2/3 innings.
The White Sox have scored 22 runs in his last 10 starts and have been shut out four times.
Cleveland won seven of the first nine games with the White Sox in 2013, including four in a row from June 28 through June 30.