CLEVELAND (AP) Shelley Duncan's RBI double in the eighth inning gave the Cleveland Indians a soggy 3-2 win over the Chicago White Sox on Monday night and a sweep of their day-night doubleheader.Duncan ripped a pitch from left-hander Matt Thornton (1-2) into the left-field corner, scoring Asdrubal Cabrera.The first-place Indians won the opener 8-6.The White Sox have lost six of seven.Cleveland's Josh Tomlin allowed five hits in 7-1 3 innings - most of the final three in a steady downpour. He struck out a career-high eight, allowed two walks and maintained his control despite slick, slippery conditions on the mound.Joe Smith (2-1) gave up a game-tying single after a lengthy rain delay, but got two outs and was credited with the win after Duncan's single.Tony Sipp worked the ninth for his first save.The Indians are 8-3 in their past 11.Sipp gave up a two-out walk to pinch-hitter Paul Konerko before striking out Tyler Flowers for his second career save - first since July 23, 2010.Cleveland's Travis Hafner homered and tripled in the opener. He struck out twice in the second game but was hit by a pitch for the 79th time in his career, tying him with Nap Lajoie for the team record.Cabrera opened the eighth with a bloop single off Thornton, and Carlos Santana followed with a flair to almost the exact spot in shallow right-center. After Hafner popped out, Duncan pulled Thornton's pitch down the line to make it 3-2 and give the few hundred fans who stuck around after a lengthy rain delay something to cheer.The White Sox tied it 2-all in the eighth, moments after a 1-hour, 25-minute rain delay, on Alex Rios' RBI single.With the sky darkening and radar showing heavy rain approaching, the Indians scored twice in the fifth to take a 2-1 lead and put Tomlin in position for the win.Tomlin retired the White Sox in order in the sixth and seventh before running into trouble in the eighth as the rain intensified. With one out, he walked Alejandro De Aza and gave up a single to Gordon Beckham before manager Manny Acta decided to pull his right-hander and bring in reliever Dan Wheeler.But as Wheeler neared the mound, crew chief Larry Vanover ordered the groundscrew to cover the infield at 9:09 p.m. The rain delay lasted 85 minutes, and when play resumed, Acta put in side-armer Smith to face Rios, who promptly hit an RBI single to tie it 2-2.The Indians hit some solid line drives off Chicago starter Eric Stults in the first three innings, but had nothing to show for it.They had a scoring chance in the fourth after Stults issued consecutive one-out walks. But he recovered by striking out Hafner and getting Duncan to pop out.Stults wasn't so lucky in the fifth, when a two-out walk to catcher Lou Marson, Cleveland's No. 9 hitter batting just .059, came back to haunt him.Marson then got a great jump and stole second on the next pitch before scoring on Michael Brantley's single. Brantley took second on the throw home and scored on Jason Kipnis' RBI single.The White Sox took a 1-0 lead in the fifth on Brent Morel's RBI groundout.Stults' debut with the White Sox was also his first major league start since Aug. 9, 2009, when he pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He spent 2010 pitching in Japan and made six relief appearances for Colorado last season before signing with Chicago as a free agent.The left-hander was recalled before the game from Triple-A Charlotte, where he went 1-1 with a 3.20 ERA in five starts.NOTES: Per the new collective bargaining agreement, teams are allowed to carry 26 players on their roster for unique doubleheaders. ... The day-night twinbill drew just 19,679 total fans. Despite being in first place, the Indians have the lowest average attendance in the majors. ... Tomlin has given up only 47 walks in 273 career innings. ... Hafner's triple in the opener for Cleveland was his first since 2007, prompting a few good-natured jokes about his blazing speed. "I'd say I could beat 75 to 80 percent of the guys on the team in a race, if it came down to it," he quipped.
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While Chris Sale doesn’t know if Mark Buehrle will pitch again, he’s certain about one thing — Buehrle should retire as a member of the White Sox.
His future plans still undeclared, the legendary pitcher made the rounds at U.S. Cellular Field this weekend to visit ex-teammates from two of the three clubs he played for during his 16-year career. Buehrle, who won a World Series title and 161 games and threw a perfect game and a no-hitter in 12 seasons with the White Sox, has yet to sign retirement papers. Whether or not Buehrle would pitch again was speculated upon often this spring even though he struggled down the stretch in 2015 and failed to eclipse 200 innings for only the second time in his career.
Were he to officially call it quits, Sale hopes Buerhle does it here.
“For me personally, I would like to see it,” Sale said. “When you think of Mark Buehrle, you think of him in a White Sox uniform, wearing the black jersey with the pinstripes on the bottom.
“I don’t think he could go out any other way. Especially it would be nice to see him in a White Sox hat when he goes to the Hall of Fame.”
Buehrle spent the first dozen years of his career with the White Sox before agreeing upon a four-year deal with the Miami Marlins in 2012. His stay in Miami lasted only one season before the club held a fire sale and dealt him and shortstop Jose Reyes among others to the Toronto Blue Jays. Buehrle played the last three seasons in Toronto and won 40 games. He won 15 games last season but finished four outs shy of a 15th straight 200-inning campaign.
Sale said he didn’t talk any business with Buehrle during their visit and doesn’t know if he still wants to pitch.
“It was definitely good to see him,” Sale said. “It gives you a little boost. Any time you see guys like that come back around, it’s always fun. He looks good. He looks like he could pitch again.
“We don’t talk about business when he comes around. It was good to see him and whatever unfolds, I think it will be fun regardless of what happens.”
A cold beer in hand and shower shoes on his feet, Zach Duke was the epitome of relaxation Sunday afternoon as he leaned back in his chair in the White Sox clubhouse.
A selfie of his feet with a tropical destination in the background is all that was missing.
The chance to relax isn’t wasted on Duke or his relief brethren. After a span in which they combined for 18 appearances in seven games, Duke, Nate Jones, Matt Albers and David Robertson received a weekend pass. While Robertson’s break was interrupted Sunday, the rest of the group is set for three consecutive days without an appearance.
It couldn’t have come at a better time.
“It’s a nice shot in the arm, if you will,” said Duke, who entered Sunday tied for the major-league lead with 39 appearances. “It’s good. To have a little rest time to get through this next stretch of games is big.
“I’m not sure what we’ll be doing (Monday). Maybe we’ll go out to the beach.”
Life has been anything but easy for the trusted members of the White Sox bullpen.
The workload of the bullpen recently included 30 innings in the eight games leading up to Sunday. While the bullpen’s innings pitched this season ranks low (they’re 21st among 30 teams), it’s the type of work they have been asked to perform that has begun to add up.
An inconsistent offense that has failed to put games away has the White Sox tied for the fourth-most one-run games in the majors (26). Of the 78 games played by the White Sox, 41 have been decided by two runs or fewer. The bullpen has the second-highest leverage index -- a statistic that measures how much pressure each pitcher faces -- in the majors.
Basically, only San Francisco Giants relievers face more tight situations than in baseball than the White Sox.
With that in mind, White Sox manager Robin Ventura prescribed mandatory rest for Jones, Albers, Duke and Robertson on Saturday.
“They need it,” Ventura said. “They need a break, it's that simple.”
What has magnified the team’s issues is the losses of Daniel Webb and Jake Petricka for the season and Zach Putnam, who is out indefinitely with elbow soreness and said to be weighing surgery as an option.
Last season, Putnam and Petricka combined for 100 2/3 innings. The season before it was 127 2/3 innings.
With those trusted arms down, Dan Jennings and rookies Chris Beck, Michael Ynoa and Matt Purke will likely have to consume big innings at times. The scenario arose on Saturday when the White Sox rallied after it appeared they had been blown out by the Toronto Blue Jays. Even though they trailed by as many as five runs twice, the White Sox found themselves down a run headed into the ninth inning. But with their veteran arms down, Ynoa was asked to work an inning and surrendered a pair of runs.
“It’s tough to watch those games,” said Robertson, who earned his 20th save in 22 tries on Sunday. “When we’ve thrown six or seven games out of eight days, you need a day because the chances of you going out there and hurting yourself are possible. And you’re looking at the longevity of this team and the arms we’ve got, you don’t want to lose any of your valuable pieces in one game when you might need them later on in September to make that push to get into the playoffs or even in the playoffs themselves. When you get those days off you have to take them, enjoy ‘em. It’s hard to watch those games because you feel like you should be in there. But it’s just part of baseball. Every now and then you need a day off.”
Chris Sale added another day of rest with his dominance in Sunday’s victory. He consumed eight of nine innings and held Toronto in check until he surrendered two solo homers in his last frame. Though the homers forced Jones to warm up, Sale recovered in time to get through the eighth. Two days after he pitched out of a bases-loaded jam, Robertson needed only 10 pitches to record his second save of the series.
But because Sale worked as late as he did, Duke didn’t have to lift a finger. He had a chance to relax and determine what he and his family might do Monday. “Hopefully,” Duke will get to the beach.
No matter what, he knows what he won’t do.
“There’s going to be no baseball involved,” Duke said.