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Cleveland at Chicago

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Cleveland0010101036112
Chi. White Sox «0001210127141

Pierzynski's walk-off keeps White Sox close in wild-card race

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Bobby Jenks blew a save and gave up the lead in a span of seven pitches. Then A.J. Pierzynski bailed him out and gave the Chicago White Sox one of their most dramatic wins this season.

Pierzynski hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning after Jenks gave up four straight doubles in the top half, and the White Sox rallied for a 7-6 win over the Cleveland Indians on Friday night.

"It's amazing how you can go from four straight doubles, being down a run, to a hit and a home run and we're winning," said Pierzynski, who pumped his fist while rounding the bases and then flipped off his helmet before he was mobbed by teammates at the plate.

"Everything stays the same and we pick up a game on Detroit. It's amazing how it goes up and down, back and forth."

The wild victory kept the White Sox a half-game behind Minnesota in the AL wild-card race and moved third-place Chicago within 4½ games of the AL Central-leading Tigers.

Paul Konerko singled for his fourth hit to start the ninth. After failing to get a bunt down on the first pitch, Pierzynski connected to right-center on an 0-2 pitch from reliever Tom Mastny (0-1).

"I feel good now I didn't get the bunt down," Pierzynski said. "I was pretty sure it had a chance to go, but with Grady (Sizemore) out there you never know. He can make some incredible catches and I saw him turn and jump on the wall and saw he wasn't going to get it. It was a great feeling."

Pinch-hitter Casey Blake, Andy Marte, Sizemore and Jason Michaels hit consecutive doubles off Jenks as the Indians quickly turned a 5-3 deficit into a 6-5 lead in the ninth.

"We got him early, got some guys on and just tried to do what we did," Sizemore said. "It's a tough way to lose a game. We fought hard, we came back and they did a good job of getting us in the ninth."

Alex Cintron's RBI single in the eighth put Chicago ahead 5-3, and the White Sox turned the game over to Jenks, who had an MRI on his sore hip Tuesday after blowing a save Monday night in Boston. The test revealed no structural damage.

Marte made it 5-4 with a drive to right-center and Sizemore tied the game with a blooper down the left-field line. Michaels hit a hard grounder down the first-base line for Cleveland's fourth straight double and Jenks was replaced by Matt Thornton (5-2), who finally ended the rally.

"I made some good pitches and they got some quick hits," Jenks said.

Pierzynski said Jenks' pitches lacked their usual velocity.

"The radar gun was saying 96 (mph), but it wasn't the 96 he usually has," Pierzynski said. "A little less. But it was the first game back after a few, and with the hip thing going on, it's tough. He'll be fine and we'll need him down the stretch."

It was Jenks' fourth blown save in 43 chances.

Juan Uribe, in an 0-for-21 skid, homered and had two hits for the White Sox. His 17th homer leading off the fifth tied the score at 2. Konerko delivered a two-out single in the inning to put the White Sox ahead 3-2.

Uribe started another rally in the sixth with a two-out single, stole second and scored when Scott Podsednik -- in a 3-for-26 slump -- hit an RBI single for a 4-2 lead to finish Indians starter Paul Byrd.

The Indians cut the lead to one in the seventh when Victor Martinez hit a two-out RBI single off Mike MacDougal.

Chicago starter Freddy Garcia gave up six hits, three runs with four walks and a season-high eight strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.

In the fifth, Sizemore walked, went to second on Garcia's errant pickoff attempt and stole third. After Michaels walked, Martinez hit a hard shot to first that Konerko knocked down from his knees. He tagged the bag as Sizemore scored for a 2-1 lead.

Byrd gave up nine hits and four runs in 5 2/3 innings. He gave up consecutive singles to Jermaine Dye, Jim Thome, Konerko and Pierzynski that tied the score at 1 in the fourth.

Sizemore tripled to start the third and, after a one-out walk to Martinez, Ryan Garko singled in the game's first run.

Notes

  • Sizemore's triple was his 10th of the season, giving him double figures in doubles, triples, homers and stolen bases for a second straight year.
  • The White Sox donned green hats and jerseys with green lettering and numbers for a "Halfway to St. Patrick's Day" promotion.
  • Indians DH Travis Hafner missed his seventh straight game after being hit by a pitch a week ago.
  • White Sox 3B Joe Crede was out a second straight night with a sore back but is expected back Saturday.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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You're not seeing things -- A.J. Pierzynski jumps into a pile of green-clad White Sox after his walk-off.  (AP)
You're not seeing things -- A.J. Pierzynski jumps into a pile of green-clad White Sox after his walk-off. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

J. Uribe
AB 4
R 3
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
Cleveland

G. Sizemore
AB 4
R 3
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF4331101 .297
Jason Michaels, LF3011212 .272
Victor Martinez, DH-C3012201 .311
Ryan Garko, 1B4011124 .324
Shin-Soo Choo, RF5010014 .286
Hector Luna, SS4000031 .280
Joe Inglett, 2B4000010 .274
Kelly Shoppach, C3010010 .264
   a- Casey Blake, PH-1B1110000 .289
Andy Marte, 3B4221021 .236
Totals35611661114 
a-doubled for Shoppach in the 9th
Batting
2B - Grady Sizemore (50, Jenks), Jason Michaels (30, Jenks), Casey Blake (17, Jenks), Andy Marte 2 (11, Garcia, Jenks)
3B - Grady Sizemore (10, Garcia)
RBI - Grady Sizemore (66), Jason Michaels (53), Victor Martinez 2 (81), Ryan Garko (24), Andy Marte (15)
2-OUT RBI - Victor Martinez (28)
SB - Grady Sizemore 2 (21, 2nd base off Garcia/Pierzynski, 3rd base off Garcia/Pierzynski)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Marte-Garko
E - Paul Byrd (5, ), Andy Marte (4, )
Cleveland Indians
Paul Byrd 5.2944211 4.83
Rafael Perez0000100 4.15
Brian Sikorski 0.1100010 5.33
Juan Lara 1.1110000 0.00
Andrew Brown 0.2100000 2.70
Thomas Mastny (BS,1; L,0-1)0222001 2.70
HBP - Thome (by Brian Sikorski)
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Byrd 92-65, Rafael Perez 6-2, Brian Sikorski 11-5, Juan Lara 17-11, Andrew Brown 11-6, Thomas Mastny 8-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Byrd 10-6, Juan Lara 2-2, Andrew Brown 1-1
Batters Faced - Paul Byrd 28, Rafael Perez 1, Brian Sikorski 3, Juan Lara 5, Andrew Brown 3, Thomas Mastny 2
Chicago White Sox
Scott Podsednik, LF5011001 .257
    Brian Anderson, CF0000000 .231
Alex Cintron, 2B4121100 .282
Jermaine Dye, RF5110014 .325
Jim Thome, DH3010102 .296
Paul Konerko, 1B5041000 .310
    Tadahito Iguchi, PR0100000 .284
A.J. Pierzynski, C5123004 .293
Rob Mackowiak, 3B2000113 .294
   a- Pablo Ozuna, PH-3B1000001 .329
Ryan Sweeney, CF-LF4000004 .143
Juan Uribe, SS4331001 .238
Totals3871473220 
a-grounded into a double play for Mackowiak in the 7th
Batting
HR - A.J. Pierzynski (14, Mastny), Juan Uribe (17, Byrd)
RBI - Scott Podsednik (44), Alex Cintron (37), Paul Konerko (98), A.J. Pierzynski 3 (57), Juan Uribe (61)
2-OUT RBI - Scott Podsednik (21), Paul Konerko (31)
SB - Scott Podsednik 2 (38, 2nd base off R. Perez/Shoppach, 3rd base off R. Perez/Shoppach), Alex Cintron (9, 2nd base off Sikorski/Shoppach), Juan Uribe (1, 2nd base off Byrd/Shoppach)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Uribe-Konerko, Garcia-Uribe-Konerko, Cintron-Uribe-Konerko
E - Freddy Garcia (2, )
Chicago White Sox
Freddy Garcia 6.1632480 5.02
Boone Logan (H,2) 0.1000000 5.14
Mike MacDougal (H,8) 1.1100120 1.08
Bobby Jenks (BS,4)0433000 3.78
Matt Thornton (W,5-2) 1000110 3.31
Pitches-Strikes - Freddy Garcia 94-62, Boone Logan 4-2, Mike MacDougal 21-15, Bobby Jenks 7-5, Matt Thornton 15-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Freddy Garcia 4-5, Boone Logan 1-0, Mike MacDougal 1-1, Matt Thornton 1-0
Batters Faced - Freddy Garcia 27, Boone Logan 1, Mike MacDougal 6, Bobby Jenks 4, Matt Thornton 3
Game Information
Attendance - 37188
Game Time - 3:17
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Chris Guccione, First Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Second Base - Sam Holbrook, Third Base - Randy Marsh