LIVE: White Sox rally, but Indians tie it

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LIVE: White Sox rally, but Indians tie it

Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011Posted: 11:03 a.m.
Associated Press

While the AL's other two second-place teams remain in serious playoff contention, the Chicago White Sox are falling out of the picture in the Central.

The White Sox try to avoid falling behind the Cleveland Indians for second place in the Central as they continue their series Saturday at U.S. Cellular Field.

Chicago (72-71) won Thursday's series opener 8-1 before losing 8-4 on Friday, as the Indians snapped a four-game skid. If the White Sox lose again Saturday, Cleveland (71-71) would move past them for second place, but that seems immaterial.

Chicago is 9 12 games behind division-leading Detroit, while the Indians are 10 out. By comparison, the second place teams in both the AL East and West - Boston and Los Angeles, respectively - are 2 12 games out of first.

"Mathematically we are not out of it," said Mark Buehrle, Friday's losing pitcher for Chicago. "But if you watch what is going on and see how good Detroit is playing and see us going in streaks, I don't like our chances. But at the same time, we have to go out there and we got to keep on playing."

Both the White Sox and Indians were in the thick of the Central race when they last met in mid-August. Fausto Carmona (6-14, 5.18 ERA) put together one of his best starts of the year in that series, but hasn't had much luck since.

Carmona allowed one run and four hits in a season-high 8 1-3 innings of a 4-1 win at Chicago on Aug. 17. He gave up two runs in six innings against light-hitting Seattle his next time out, but is 0-2 with a 9.88 ERA in three starts since. The right-hander was tagged for seven runs and eight hits in 1 1-3 innings - his shortest start since Sept. 9, 2009 - in a 10-1 loss to Detroit on Tuesday.

Carmona has been hit-or-miss against the White Sox in his career, going 8-1 with a 2.59 ERA in nine of his starts, but 0-4 with a 14.34 ERA in his other five.

Chicago first baseman Paul Konerko, 4 for 11 with six RBIs in his last three games, is batting .389 with two homers and a double in 18 career at-bats against Carmona.

Philip Humber (9-8, 3.45) takes the ball for the White Sox hoping to build on his first win in two months.

Humber gave up six hits and struck out six without a walk in seven shutout innings of a 2-1 win over Minnesota on Monday, his first victory since July 2. The right-hander was making his first start since Aug. 18, when he was struck above the right eye by a line drive off the bat of Cleveland's Kosuke Fukudome in the second inning.

"It feels like a year since I've had a win. It was a great feeling to have some success," said Humber, who had been 0-4 with a 7.16 ERA in his final six starts before Fukudome's liner landed him on the DL. "Hopefully, I can build off this."

Fukudome had two hits and two RBIs on Friday, and is batting .471 with four RBIs in his last four games against Chicago.

Teammate Lonnie Chisenhall hit a pair of two-run homers off Buehrle on Friday. It was an encouraging performance for the rookie third baseman, who came in 3 for 22 against left-handers.

"Lonnie Chisenhall had a big day, especially considering the way he has struggled against lefties," manager Manny Acta said. "The more he sees (lefties), the better he's going to get."
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Preview: White Sox open series with Royals tonight on CSN

Preview: White Sox open series with Royals tonight on CSN

The White Sox open a three-game set with the Kansas City Royals tonight, and you can catch all the action on CSN and live streaming on CSNChicago.com and the NBC Sports App.

Coverage begins at 7 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Tonight's starting pitching matchup: Jason Vargas (3-0, 0.44 ERA) vs. Miguel Gonzalez (2-0, 2.84 ERA)

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White Sox snap skid by forcing, capitalizing on Indians' mistakes

White Sox snap skid by forcing, capitalizing on Indians' mistakes

The White Sox haven't had many opportunities to capitalize on mistakes from their opponents lately because they haven't been in a position to force them. 

But in their 6-2 win over the Cleveland Indians Sunday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field, the White Sox put the pressure on the defending American League champions and reaped the results. 

Two plays stand out, both of which came in the sixth inning. After Omar Narvaez drew a leadoff walk, Jacob May put down a well-placed sacrifice bunt between the pitcher's mound and first base line. Indians first baseman Carlos Santana charged in and turned to underhand a toss to second baseman Michael Martinez, who was covering first. 

But the speedy May was hustling down the line, which forced Martinez to awkwardly stretch for the ball. He dropped it, allowing May to reach. 

"Anytime you you have players that are forcing defenses to complete plays you can put them in an awkward position," manager Rick Renteria said. "I don't know that that led to that in particular but he busted his rear end down the line."

That error paid off for the White Sox three batters later — after Tim Anderson and Tyler Saladino struck out — when Melky Cabrera singled to left. Narvaez was aggressively waved home by third base coach Nick Capra (a common practice with two out) but looked to be easily out at the plate on Brandon Guyer's throw. Again, though, forcing the issue paid off: Cleveland catcher Roberto Perez dropped Guyer's throw, allowing Narvaez to score. 

"That's kind of what we've been stressing in spring, play with your hair on fire," Anderson said. "That's definitely something that we've been working on and that's something we can control, that energy level and the way we hustle."

The White Sox were sparked by a three-run first inning, which ended a stretch of 23 consecutive innings without scoring a run. Anderson began with a double off Indians starter Danny Salazar and, after Saladino singled, scored on Cabrera's sacrifice fly. 

Jose Abreu followed with a line drive to right, which fell in front of outfielder Abraham Almonte and skipped past him for a two-base error, allowing Saladino to score. Leury Garcia later delivered a two-out single to score Abreu. 

"Everybody knows how good this Cleveland pitchers are, especially the first two games with (Carlos) Carrasco and (Corey) Kluber," Abreu said through an interpreter. "Our offense was silent. But today we had more life against Salazar. We know him and we did our job."

The White Sox cruised behind that three-run first inning and a solid start from left-hander Derek Holland, who allowed one run over six innings. Holland's only mistake was a third inning hanging curveball to Francisco Lindor, who launched it for a solo home run. But he came back two innings later and struck out Lindor with the bases loaded on another curveball, ending Cleveland's best scoring threat of the game. 

"Just because something happens you got to turn the page and not worry about those kind of things, and get ready for the next one," Holland said. "He may have got me that first time but I got him the second time. So those are the kind of things, you never let something take you away from your game."