Giambi's homer helps Tribe top Sox again

Giambi's homer helps Tribe top Sox again

September 24, 2013, 8:45 pm
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CLEVELAND -- Add yet another dreadful chapter to the history book.

The White Sox established a new franchise record on Tuesday night, only 72 hours after their previous one. Jason Giambi’s pinch-hit, game-winning home run off Addison Reed lifted the Cleveland Indians to a 5-4 victory at Progressive Field, their 13th straight win over the White Sox.

The White Sox -- who on Saturday blew a six-run lead in the ninth for the first time in 113 seasons -- were in line to snap the streak at 12 games after a pair of ninth-inning homers of their own until Cleveland beat them for the sixth time this season in its final at-bat.

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Before 2013, the White Sox had never before lost 13 straight games against one team, falling only in 12 consecutive from 1921-22 against the Boston Red Sox.

Giambi’s homer gives the Indians -- who entered the day with a one-game lead over Texas for the second Wild Card-spot -- a 16-2 head-to-head record against the White Sox this season with one meeting left.

“You just lose,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “I’m tired of saying it. It’s kind of indicative of our season. You get tired of saying it. We just lost.”

The team’s seventh one-run loss to the Tribe this season had a familiar sting to it, especially after the White Sox rallied off Cleveland closer Chris Perez.

Holding a 4-3 lead, Reed stuck out Yan Gomes before Michael Brantley’s grounder snuck past Gordon Beckham into right field for a single. Micah Aviles then struck out against Reed to bring Giambi to the plate.

Reed got ahead of Giambi with a swing and a miss on a slider before he just missed inside with a fastball. But the third pitch of the at-bat, a 1-1 slider, was up and in and Giambi pulled it 405 feet into the bleachers in right. The blown save was the eighth for Reed in 47 chances this season.

“It’s easy to hit a hanging slider,” Reed said. “That’s exactly what I did. He hit it out of the park. … This sucks. They fought back and got us where we needed to be and I let them down.”

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At first it appeared the White Sox had wounded the Indians’ playoff hopes with a rally off Perez.

Down 3-2, Dayan Viciedo delivered a dose of late-inning magic for the White Sox -- who earlier rallied from a 1-0 deficit -- when he drove a 1-1 fastball off Perez into the right-field bleachers for his 14th homer. Two batters later, Alejandro De Aza ripped the first pitch from Perez over the wall in right-center for his 17th homer to put the White Sox ahead and bring a reign of boos down on Perez.

White Sox starter Hector Santiago, who allowed three earned over 6 1/3 innings, said the dugout was elated as it rarely has been this season after De Aza’s round-tripper.

“We hit two home runs and probably at the highest we’ve been all year, excited,” Santiago said. “We got two big hits off their closer and (it) finally looks positive, like we’re going to have a win off these guys. We’ve been struggling against them all year and all of a sudden the game just turned around. We were up and all of a sudden we were down again.”

The White Sox led 2-1 into the seventh inning until Brantley homered off Santiago to tie the game. Jason Kipnis’ two-out RBI single off Nate Jones regained a lead for Cleveland.

Jimenez couldn’t hold a 1-0 lead as the White Sox scored a run each in the fourth and seventh innings. Avisail Garcia’s sac fly in the fourth inning pushed Conor Gillaspie across to tie the game at 1. Gillaspie doubled and reached base three times in five plate appearances.

Then in the seventh, De Aza singled off reliever Cody Allen to drive in Gordon Beckham and put the White Sox up 2-1.