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Sabathia dominates White Sox to improve to 3-0

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CLEVELAND -- They both wore No. 42 to honor Jackie Robinson, and then C.C. Sabathia and Grady Sizemore did themselves proud.

Sabathia pitched eight overpowering innings Sunday and Sizemore hit a leadoff double in the first -- Cleveland's only hit -- as the Indians finished a bizarre, two-city homestand with a 2-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

Out of his customary No. 52 jersey on the 60th anniversary of Robinson's debut, Sabathia hit another significant number: 3-0.

On four previous occasions, the left-hander had opened a season 2-0 only to lose his next start.

"I didn't know that," Sabathia said. "It feels good."

Pitching with a strong wind gusting to nearly 30 mph at his back, Sabathia allowed five hits, struck out 10, walked three and improved to 14-3 -- 2-0 this season -- in 22 starts against Chicago.

With the wind howling through Jacobs Field making it feel much colder than the announced gametime temperature of 39 degrees, Sabathia's game plan was to pound the inside corner.

"It was cold," Sabathia said. "Guys kind of think twice about swinging when it's cold and you are coming in there."

The Indians didn't fare much better in the bitter conditions against Chicago starter Jose Contreras (1-2) and three relievers, who combined to no-hit Cleveland after Sizemore's leadoff double.

The last time the Indians won while getting one hit or less was on April 12, 1992, a 2-1 victory over Boston when they were no-hit by Red Sox pitcher Matt Young.

"That's not something you see every day," said Sizemore, who like Sabathia wore No. 42 to salute Robinson for breaking baseball's color barrier. "I don't recall ever winning a game with just one hit."

Cleveland took advantage of three Chicago errors and some walks to take two of three against one of its AL Central rivals.

Sabathia was lucky to escape the eighth with a 2-1 lead. The White Sox got runners to first and third with two outs, when Rob Mackowiak hit a shot through the middle that caromed off Sabathia's hand and bounced directly to third baseman Casey Blake, who picked it cleanly off the grass and threw out Mackowiak.

Sabathia pumped his arm and screamed in delight before heading back to the dugout.

"I was fired up," Sabathia said. "It was a close game and that was a big moment. That was the game right there."

The White Sox got a two-out, pinch-hit single by Jim Thome in the ninth, but Cleveland closer Joe Borowski struck out pinch-hitter A.J. Pierzynski for his fifth save.

"Right now, we're colder than the weather," Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Our bats are cold. We had a couple of chances, but didn't get the big hit."

Contreras did a remarkable job of keeping it close, considering the White Sox made three errors behind him and he walked five in the first four innings.

The right-hander allowed only Sizemore's hit and was able to get big outs when he needed them. However, Contreras ran into trouble in the fourth with a leadoff walk and an error by third baseman Joe Crede.

Contreras then walked No. 9 hitter Kelly Shoppach to load the bases and then put on Sizemore, giving the Indians a 2-0 lead.

"We didn't help Jose at all," Guillen said. "We made a couple of big errors. It's a shame when a guy pitches like that and you don't win."

Sabathia's performance and the one-hit win concluded possibly the strangest homestand in Indians history.

Cleveland's home opener at Jacobs Field was stopped by snow and the club had its entire four-game series against Seattle postponed last weekend by a blizzard and cold weather. The next series was switched to Milwaukee's Miller Park, where the Indians played the Los Angeles Angels three times under a retractable roof.

So after taking two of three from Chicago, the Indians went 4-2 on a 10-game homestand with three of those games taking place in a National League ballpark 450 miles away.

Weird enough for you?

Sabathia credited manager Eric Wedge for keeping the Indians focused despite the numerous distractions.

"Before we went to Milwaukee he said, 'Keep focused and just try to win the series,' and that's what we did," he said. "He didn't want to hear any complaining or anything like that. We just went to Milwaukee and then came home and won the series this weekend."

Notes

  • Following a day off, the Indians will play a three-game set in New York, which was bracing for a nor'easter. "That figures," DH Travis Hafner said. "The bad weather is following us everywhere we go."
  • Indians general manager Mark Shapiro said MLB has not yet rescheduled the missed games against the Mariners, whose only planned visit to Cleveland has come and gone. Shapiro is strongly opposed to making up the games in Seattle. "We don't plan on playing home games somewhere else," he said.
  • Crede was ejected by plate umpire Jerry Meals after striking out with two on in the sixth and flipping his bat.
 
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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Cleveland's Joe Borowski (middle) preserves the game and gets love from Kelly Shoppach, Ryan Garko.  (AP)
Cleveland's Joe Borowski (middle) preserves the game and gets love from Kelly Shoppach, Ryan Garko. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cleveland

C. Sabathia
IP 8.0
H 5
ER 1
BB 3
K 10
Chicago

P. Ozuna
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Chicago White Sox
Pablo Ozuna, LF-3B4120000 .300
Darin Erstad, 1B3010021 .189
Paul Konerko, DH3000102 .211
Jermaine Dye, RF2011211 .235
Joe Crede, 3B3000013 .220
    Rob Mackowiak, LF1000002 .143
Tadahito Iguchi, 2B4010020 .214
Juan Uribe, SS3000021 .265
   a- Scott Podsednik, PH1000000 .303
Brian Anderson, CF3000021 .143
   b- Jim Thome, PH1010000 .294
    Alex Cintron, PR0000000 .111
Gustavo Molina, C3000011 .000
   c- A.J. Pierzynski, PH1000011 .147
Totals32161312  
a-lined out for Uribe in the 9th
b-singled for Anderson in the 9th
c-struck out for Molina in the 9th
Batting
SH - Darin Erstad (3)
RBI - Jermaine Dye (6)
2-OUT RBI - Jermaine Dye (3)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
PB - Gustavo Molina (1)
E - Joe Crede 2 (3, Misplayed grounder), Darin Erstad (1, Throwing)
Chicago White Sox
Jose Contreras (L,1-2) 5120530 6.00
Nick Masset 0.2000110 4.66
Andrew Sisco 0.1000010 2.84
David Aardsma 2000040 0.90
Pitches-Strikes - Jose Contreras 98-53, Nick Masset 15-6, Andrew Sisco 4-3, David Aardsma 24-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jose Contreras 11-4
Batters Faced - Jose Contreras 24, Nick Masset 3, Andrew Sisco 1, David Aardsma 6
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF3111113 .323
Trot Nixon, RF3001015 .292
   a- Jason Michaels, PH-RF1000010 .385
Travis Hafner, DH3000113 .212
Ryan Garko, 1B4000000 .381
David Dellucci, LF4000012 .269
Casey Blake, 3B3100122 .194
Jhonny Peralta, SS3000110 .290
Mike Rouse, 2B2000113 .000
Kelly Shoppach, C2000101 .125
Totals2821269  
a-struck out for Nixon in the 7th
Batting
2B - Grady Sizemore (2, Contreras)
RBI - Grady Sizemore (6), Trot Nixon (1)
SB - Mike Rouse (1, 2nd base off Masset/Molina)
Team LOB - 8
Cleveland Indians
C.C. Sabathia (W,3-0) 85113100 2.14
Joe Borowski (S,5) 1100020 5.06
Pitches-Strikes - C.C. Sabathia 102-65
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C.C. Sabathia 7-7
Batters Faced - C.C. Sabathia 32, Joe Borowski 4
Game Information
Attendance - 14887
Game Time - 2:34
Temperature - 39
Umpires - Home - Jerry Meals, First Base - Bruce Dreckman, Second Base - Gary Darling, Third Base - Larry Poncino