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Chicago at Cleveland

Chi. White Sox (57-79)000000000040
Cleveland (78-57) «00120112x7110

Byrd pitches gem for Indians' eighth consecutive win

CBSSports.com wire reports

CLEVELAND -- Even though the game was well in hand, Paul Byrd admitted he wanted a little more when the Chicago White Sox loaded the bases with one out in the ninth inning.

"It may sound a little selfish with the score 7-0, but I wanted the shutout," he said. "It was a playoff atmosphere. The crowd was going nuts. I wanted to finish the game."

That's exactly what Byrd did, striking out Jim Thome and retiring Paul Konerko on a fly ball to end a four-hit shutout for the Indians' eighth straight win on Saturday night.

"He reached down deep in that last inning," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. "That's what it was all about there. I was happy to see him do that."

Byrd (14-5) has won his last four starts and seven of his last eight decisions. It was his second shutout of the season and fifth of his career.

Casey Blake and Travis Hafner drove in two runs apiece while Franklin Gutierrez and Kelly Shoppach homered, helping Cleveland maintain its 5 1/2-game lead over Detroit in the AL Central. The winning streak is the Indians' longest since they won nine straight in 2005. Cleveland is also a season-high 21 games over .500 (78-57).

The slumping White Sox, who blew a 5-0 lead Friday night, have lost five in a row and 10 of 11. Chicago also has dropped 11 straight on the road.

After ripping his players' performance twice in Texas this week, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen is running out of things to say.

"I think I've said it all," he said. "The only thing I can say is keep your heads up and keep competing."

Thanks to a double play in the second and a caught stealing in the fourth, Byrd had faced the minimum number of hitters before walking A.J. Pierzynski with one out in the eighth, one of two walks he allowed in the game. The right-hander struck out two.

Paul Konerko singled to lead off the second but was erased when Pierzynski bounced into a double play. Jerry Owens beat out an infield hit to start the fourth, but was thrown out trying to steal second by catcher Shoppach.

Byrd retired the first hitter in the ninth, but singles by Juan Uribe and Jerry Owens and a walk to Josh Fields loaded the bases. With his complete game in jeopardy, Byrd had a little talk with himself.

"The bullpen has picked me up so many times this year, I wanted to give them a night off," he said. "I wanted to do that because they've bailed me out and gotten me out of so many jams all season."

Blake was batting .169 with runners in scoring position before his three-run double in the eighth inning that keyed Friday night's 8-5 win. He added RBI singles in the fourth and sixth Saturday night -- both with runners in scoring position.

"A lot of people are going to pay attention to that stat, but I try not to dwell on it," Blake said. "If you feel good at the plate in those situations, you have a chance to have some success."

Hafner drove in Cleveland's first run with a third-inning groundout. Shoppach started the inning with a single off Javier Vazquez (11-8). After Grady Sizemore walked, Asdrubal Cabrera laid out down a sacrifice bunt and Hafner followed with a ground ball to the right side.

The Indians added two in the fourth. Gutierrez lined his 10th homer to center with one out, and Kenny Lofton lined a double down the left field line. Blake drove him in with a single to right.

Johnny Peralta led off the sixth with a single and, after moving to second on a passed ball, scored on Blake's single to left-center. Back-to-back doubles by Cabrera and Hafner scored another run in the seventh. Shoppach hit a two-run homer in the eighth off Ryan Bukvich.

Vazquez allowed four runs, three earned, and eight hits in six innings.

"Right now it seems like we're going out there with no emotion," he said.


  • Cleveland's nine-game winning streak in 2005 was from June 10-19.
  • The crowd of 41,131 was the Indians' seventh sellout of the season.
  • The White Sox lost 20 games in August, marking the first time they have lost 20 games in a month since June 1987.
  • Konerko returned to the lineup after not starting Friday.
Copyright 2015 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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Paul Byrd throws a four-hit shutout for his fourth straight win and eighth in row for the Indians. (AP)
Paul Byrd throws a four-hit shutout for his fourth straight win and eighth in row for the Indians. (AP)

Players of the Game

P. Byrd
IP 9.0
H 4
ER 0
BB 2
K 3

K. Shoppach
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1

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Chicago White Sox
Jerry Owens, CF4020000 .243
Josh Fields, LF3000110 .237
Jim Thome, DH4000013 .270
Paul Konerko, 1B4010003 .262
A.J. Pierzynski, C2000101 .258
Jermaine Dye, RF3000001 .246
Andy Gonzalez, 3B3000011 .215
Danny Richar, 2B3000000 .191
Juan Uribe, SS3010000 .217
CS - Jerry Owens (5, 2nd base by Byrd/Shoppach)
Team LOB - 4
PB - A.J. Pierzynski (12)
Chicago White Sox
Javier Vazquez (L,11-8) 6843161 3.91
Matt Thornton 1211010 5.21
Ryan Bukvich 1122111 4.93
WP - Matt Thornton (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Javier Vazquez 105-70, Matt Thornton 18-12, Ryan Bukvich 16-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Javier Vazquez 6-6, Matt Thornton 1-1, Ryan Bukvich 1-1
Batters Faced - Javier Vazquez 27, Matt Thornton 5, Ryan Bukvich 5
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF4000121 .277
Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B3120010 .303
Travis Hafner, DH4012001 .255
Ryan Garko, 1B4000013 .299
Jhonny Peralta, SS4110011 .271
Franklin Gutierrez, RF4121011 .279
Kenny Lofton, LF3210102 .299
Casey Blake, 3B4022022 .267
Kelly Shoppach, C4222002 .274
2B - Asdrubal Cabrera 2 (4, Vazquez, Thornton), Travis Hafner (18, Thornton), Kenny Lofton (22, Vazquez)
HR - Franklin Gutierrez (10, Vazquez), Kelly Shoppach (6, Bukvich)
SH - Asdrubal Cabrera (3)
RBI - Travis Hafner 2 (79), Franklin Gutierrez (26), Casey Blake 2 (66), Kelly Shoppach 2 (26)
2-OUT RBI - Casey Blake (27), Kelly Shoppach 2 (13)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Peralta-A. Cabrera-Garko
Cleveland Indians
Paul Byrd (W,14-5) 9400230 4.19
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Byrd 110-78
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Byrd 10-12
Batters Faced - Paul Byrd 31
Game Information
Attendance - 41131
Game Time - 2:37
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Laz Diaz, First Base - Mike DiMuro, Second Base - Chris Guccione, Third Base - Wally Bell