|Chi. White Sox «||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||2||x||5||8||1|
CHICAGO -- Jermaine Dye doesn't seek the spotlight. It's getting tough to ignore him, though.
The soft-spoken outfielder made another big statement on Friday night when he hit a solo homer and then put the White Sox ahead with a two-run single off Rafael Betancourt in the eighth inning to lead Chicago to a 5-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians.
"I'm just a laid-back guy who comes out, has fun and plays the game," Dye said. "I'm not looking to be in the papers and all that. I'm just having fun, enjoying the game I love to play."
And he's playing as well as ever.
He's batting .316 with 19 homers and 46 RBI -- numbers that rival those he delivered for Kansas City in 2000, when he drove in 118 and set career-highs in average (.321) and home runs (33).
After taking two of three from AL Central leader Detroit, the White Sox appeared headed toward a loss until Dye lined a 1-2 pitch to center to drive in Jim Thome and Paul Konerko with the tying and go-ahead runs.
The hit made a winner of Matt Thornton (1-1), who pitched two-thirds of an inning. Bobby Jenks walked Jhonny Peralta and allowed a single by Ronnie Belliard that put runners on first and second in the ninth before retiring Aaron Boone on a grounder for his 18th save in 19 opportunities.
Cleveland's Cliff Lee allowed four runs and six hits in a season-high 7 2/3 innings. He retired 15 of 16 batters before Dye went deep with two outs in the sixth -- a solo shot that made it 4-3.
Lee left after walking Thome on a close 3-2 pitch with two outs in the eighth. Konerko, who had three hits, then doubled to left off Betancourt (0-2) to put runners on second and third. Dye, who was 0-for-6 against the right-hander, then delivered the winning hit.
"It just looked like a pitch that came back over the middle," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said.
Often overshadowed by Thome, Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski, Dye is calling attention to himself, whether he means to or not. He is not outspoken, not a vocal leader, although he'll offer teammates advice when asked.
He's just producing.
The World Series MVP last year, Dye has reached base in 17 straight games and is batting .350 (21-for-60) in that stretch. He has seven homers and 12 RBI in his last 11 games.
Cleveland's Travis Hafner hit a three-run homer, his 17th, off Neal Cotts in the sixth.
Cotts relieved starter Javier Vazquez with two outs and runners on first and second, and Hafner promptly knocked a 3-2 pitch to the seats in right-center to put the Indians ahead 4-2.
Vazquez struck out a season-high nine, but hit three batters, allowed seven hits and threw 110 pitches in 5 2/3 innings. In his last two starts, Vazquez has allowed eight runs in 12 innings.
Brian Anderson robbed Hafner of an extra-base hit with runners on first and second in the eighth, when he snagged a drive just before crashing into the wall in center for the second out. He then unleashed a one-hop throw to third to hold the runners. And later, Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen indicated Anderson -- batting .154 -- won't be sent to the minors anytime soon.
"We can change our mind from one day to the other," Guillen said. "We're going to stay with him. We have faith in him."
Sizemore had three hits, reached base all five times and scored two runs for Cleveland. Ben Broussard extended his hitting streak to eight games with two singles and drove in a run.
The Indians stranded 14 runners.
Lee was 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in his first three starts against Chicago, while Vazquez was dominant in winning his first two outings against Cleveland, going 2-0 with one unearned run in 12 innings.
"I was being lucky and playing with fire," Vazquez said. "I don't like to do that."
Struggling Indians reliever Scott Sauerbeck was designated for assignment on Friday -- 10 days after he was arrested. Besides his problems on the mound, Sauerbeck was recently arrested, accused of fleeing police along with a woman charged with driving his car while drunk. The Indians have 10 days to trade, release or send the 34-year-old Sauerbeck to the minors. Manager Eric Wedge said the move was "strictly performance-related." Sauerbeck went 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA in 24 appearances. The club recalled rookie Rafael Perez from Double-A Akron to fill his spot. ... Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng threw out the ceremonial first pitch. ... Third base umpire Tim McClelland was a late arrival, so a three-man crew started the game. ... Chicago SS Juan Uribe was back in the starting lineup for the first time since missing two games for the birth of his son.
|Players of the Game|
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|Grady Sizemore, CF||4||2||3||0||0||0||0||.310|
|Jason Michaels, LF||4||1||0||0||1||2||4||.279|
|Travis Hafner, DH||5||1||2||3||0||2||5||.306|
|Victor Martinez, C||5||0||1||0||0||2||5||.292|
|Ben Broussard, 1B||5||0||2||1||0||0||0||.366|
|Jhonny Peralta, SS||4||0||0||0||1||2||4||.229|
|Todd Hollandsworth, PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.213|
|Casey Blake, RF||3||0||1||0||0||2||1||.311|
|Ronnie Belliard, 2B||5||0||2||0||0||1||4||.282|
|Aaron Boone, 3B||5||0||1||0||0||1||4||.274|
|2B - Grady Sizemore (14, Vazquez)|
|HR - Travis Hafner (17, Cotts)|
|RBI - Travis Hafner 3 (54), Ben Broussard (33)|
|2-OUT RBI - Travis Hafner 3 (17), Ben Broussard (14)|
|SB - Grady Sizemore (9, 3rd base off Vazquez/Pierzynski)|
|Team LOB - 14|
|E - Jhonny Peralta (8, misplayed grounder)|
|Rafael Betancourt (BS,2; L,0-2)||0.1||2||1||1||0||0||0||3.52|
|Pitches-Strikes - Cliff Lee 104-66, Rafael Betancourt 12-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cliff Lee 5-13, Rafael Betancourt 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Cliff Lee 30, Rafael Betancourt 3|
|Chicago White Sox|
|Scott Podsednik, LF||4||1||1||0||0||1||0||.254|
|Rob Mackowiak, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.255|
|Pablo Ozuna, 3B||4||1||1||0||0||0||0||.397|
|Jim Thome, DH||3||1||0||0||1||1||0||.289|
|Paul Konerko, 1B||4||1||3||1||0||1||0||.300|
|Jermaine Dye, RF||4||1||2||3||0||1||2||.316|
|A.J. Pierzynski, C||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.321|
|Tadahito Iguchi, 2B||3||0||0||0||0||0||2||.280|
|Juan Uribe, SS||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.198|
|Brian Anderson, CF||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.154|
|2B - Paul Konerko (12, Betancourt)|
|HR - Jermaine Dye (19, Lee)|
|RBI - Paul Konerko (45), Jermaine Dye 3 (46)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jermaine Dye 3 (23)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|DP - Uribe-Iguchi-Konerko|
|E - Scott Podsednik (6, misplayed flyball)|
|Chicago White Sox|
|Neal Cotts (BS,2)||1.1||2||1||1||0||1||1||3.60|
|Matt Thornton (W,1-1)||0.2||0||0||0||0||0||0||4.34|
|Bobby Jenks (S,18)||1||1||0||0||1||1||0||3.08|
|HBP - Sizemore (by Javier Vazquez), Blake (by Javier Vazquez), Blake (by Javier Vazquez)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Javier Vazquez 110-68, Neal Cotts 22-13, Brandon McCarthy 11-7, Matt Thornton 4-2, Bobby Jenks 13-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Javier Vazquez 7-2, Neal Cotts 2-1, Bobby Jenks 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Javier Vazquez 29, Neal Cotts 6, Brandon McCarthy 3, Matt Thornton 2, Bobby Jenks 5|
|Attendance - 33909|
|Game Time - 2:50|
|Temperature - 58|
|Umpires - Home - Marty Foster, First Base - Field Culbreth, Second Base - Bill Welke, Third Base - Tim McClelland|