CLEVELAND -- Gordon Beckham felt like he put together good plate appearances all day and it paid off in the ninth inning Saturday.
He had a key hit as the White Sox scored three times in the ninth inning to pull away from the Cleveland Indians for a 6-2 victory at Progressive Field. Beckham, who had one hit in his previous 32 at-bats, doubled in two runs and Leury Garcia had a sacrifice fly to help the White Sox snap a three-game losing streak.
Scott Carroll earned his second straight win with five shutout innings before he left the game with a sore lower back. Alexei Ramirez also exited with a sore lower back and fellow All-Star Jose Abreu hit his 29th home run.
“It really makes the ninth a little bit more breathable,” Beckham said. “We’ve played in a lot of close games, and a lot nail-biters, a lot of heart-attack type of games, and it was nice to get a hit to put us in a better position.”
The White Sox were fully enveloped in yet another game the type that has tested the resolve of their fan base until Beckham came through.
After grabbing an early three-run lead, Cleveland had climbed within 3-2 on Michael Brantley’s solo homer off Eric Sukramp in the bottom of the eighth inning.
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But Beckham, who sat out Friday’s game after manager Robin Ventura said he might have been bothered by trade rumors, gave a shaky White Sox bullpen a little extra room to operate.
Dayan Viciedo singled to open the ninth and Conor Gillaspie doubled to set up Beckham’s heroics as he ripped a two-run double off Austin Adams to make it 5-2. Garcia’s sac fly made it a four-run game.
“To be able to come back and put a few on the board was big,” Ventura said.
So was the effort of Carroll, who extended his scoreless innings streak to 11 2/3 before he also exited the game. He only allowed a pair of runners to reach base in both the third and fourth innings but found his way out of both spots unscathed.
Carroll (4-5) retired Asdrubal Cabrera on a grounder with runners on the corners and two outs in the third inning. An inning later, he got both Nick Swisher and Yan Gomes to fly out with runners on first and second.
Carroll allowed two hits, a walk and hit a batter while striking out three over five innings. Carroll thought his back issue stemmed from being dehydrated and suspects he’ll be able to make his next start after the All-Star break.
Given he’s won his last two, Carroll wants to keep going.
“Things are finally coming together,” Carroll said. “I’ve found a much better rhythm and tempo and I had a couple pitches working for me today, which was big. I’d like to be ahead to more batters, but at the end of the day I’ll take it. Great outing going into the break and I’ll come back ready to pitch.
“I just need to do a better job hydrating myself. I was in the bullpen and I was a little dehydrated and my hamstrings were tight. So it’s a combination of things so I’ll be ready to go after the All-Star break.”
Abreu gave Carroll a lead the White Sox never relinquished in the fourth with a two-run blast to right off Zach McAllister. Adam Dunn singled with two outs in the sixth to put the White Sox ahead 3-0.
Cleveland didn’t go quietly, however.
They scored a run in the seventh when Zach Putnam loaded the bases and Javy Guerra walked Jason Kipnis to force in a run. Then in the eighth, Brantley homered.
But Beckham’s hit gained momentum back.
“I felt like I had good at-bats all day and worked some counts and it didn’t work out,” Beckham said. “But I guess those led up to the last at-bat where I pulled it all together. So it was definitely a better day.
“Mentally (the day off) was good. I did some work that I felt was good work that was going to kind of get me back in the right spot, so it definitely showed it was the right choice. I felt a lot more comfortable at the plate today.”