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Cleveland at Chicago

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Cleveland (22-25)001000000121
Chi. White Sox (26-20) «10000002x381

Quentin's tiebreaking single propels ChiSox to eighth victory in row

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- You won't find Carlos Quentin's name on an All-Star ballot, but he's right where he belongs in the middle of a first-place lineup.

The White Sox weren't positive their new outfielder would even make the roster out of spring training because of a bum shoulder, yet the Arizona castoff is turning his surprise start into a starring role.

Quentin hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning and Chicago beat the Cleveland Indians 3-1 on Thursday night for its eighth consecutive victory.

"That's the reason he's batting third," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said.

Quentin had two RBI, giving him 40 this season, and Jermaine Dye added a run-scoring single in the eighth to finish off a three-game sweep of the punchless Indians, who have scored only 13 runs during their six-game losing streak.

"It's fun today," Guillen said. "But I take it one day at a time. You can't get too high, you can't get low. We've got a good thing going. When you have a run like this, you can't wait to get back to the ballpark."

The Indians, 4½ games behind AL Central-leading Chicago, return home after a winless road trip and in a profound hitting slump. They had only two hits: Grady Sizemore's RBI double in the third and Ben Francisco's bunt single in the sixth.

"You can't give into it," Indians manager Eric Wedge said of the team's slugging woes. "I know the results aren't there. I'm not happy about it. They're not happy about it. But you've got to keep fighting."

Scott Linebrink (1-0) got the victory, striking out two in the eighth. Bobby Jenks pitched the ninth for his 12th save for the White Sox, who own a 3½-game lead over second-place Minnesota.

White Sox starter Mark Buehrle didn't get a decision, but pitched one of his best games of the season, allowing one run and two hits with four walks in seven innings. Buehrle had been struggling, but has given up only two runs in his past 13 2/3 innings.

"Any starting pitcher wants to win," Buehrle said. "But I've always said I can go 0-0 and if they win all my starts, we'll be in the right place at the end of the year."

Chicago backup catcher Toby Hall, making his 11th start of the season, went 3-for-3 and is hitting .351. He singled to lead off the eighth and was replaced by pinch-runner Brian Anderson.

Indians starter Aaron Laffey (2-3) was pulled for Masahide Kobayashi, who struck out Orlando Cabrera and got A.J. Pierzynski to fly out to deep center. Anderson tagged up on the fly ball and scored from second on Quentin's single to left. Dye followed with an RBI single to chase Kobayashi.

"It's kind of tough not to tag with (first-base coach) Harold (Baines) in your ear yelling 'tag' as loud as he can," Anderson said. "When you hear Harold yell that loud, you tend to listen."

Quentin is hitting .344 (10-for-29) with 11 RBI in eight games in the third spot. He is batting .417 with 31 RBI with runners in scoring position and was leading the AL in home runs and tied for second in RBI going into the game.

"In those situations, I have had a tendency to get amped up," Quentin said of his game-winning at-bat. "But fortunately enough this year, I've kind of backed off and just said, use the barrel, get a single and do anything you can to get the job done."

Laffey gave up six hits in seven innings, striking out six to match his career high.

Quentin drove in Cabrera with a grounder in the first against Laffey, who had not allowed an earned run in 21 innings during his previous three starts. Laffey settled down and pitched out of some jams until leaving in the eighth.

"He threw the ball great all night," Wedge said. "He pitched a heck of a ballgame."

Sizemore tied it in the third with an RBI double.

"Offensively, this stuff is contagious," Indians third baseman Casey Blake said. "It goes both ways. It seems like there's a lot of negative energy around."

Notes

  • Indians catcher Victor Martinez left in the fourth with a left index finger injury. He cut his finger and his cuticle broke open, making him unable to grip the bat. Wedge said he should play Friday against Texas.
  • The White Sox honored former catcher Carlton Fisk in a pregame ceremony. Fisk was recently named an ambassador for the team.
  • Indians closer Joe Borowski will be activated from the 15-day disabled list Friday, Wedge said.
  • Laffey also struck out six in his previous start.
  • Chicago's winning streak is its longest since winning nine straight June 15-24, 2006.
 
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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Moments after driving in the go-ahead run, Carlos Quentin hustles home with the insurance run.  (AP)
Moments after driving in the go-ahead run, Carlos Quentin hustles home with the insurance run. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

M. Buehrle
IP 7.0
H 2
ER 1
BB 4
K 2
Cleveland

A. Laffey
IP 7.0
H 6
ER 2
BB 1
K 6
 
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF4011000 .254
Ben Francisco, LF-RF4010002 .333
Travis Hafner, DH4000022 .216
Victor Martinez, C2000000 .300
    Kelly Shoppach, C2000001 .228
Ryan Garko, 1B2000100 .245
Casey Blake, 3B3000011 .224
Jhonny Peralta, SS2000100 .216
Franklin Gutierrez, RF1100101 .228
   a- David Dellucci, PH-LF1000010 .228
Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B2000111 .172
Totals2712145  
a-struck out for Gutierrez in the 8th
Batting
2B - Grady Sizemore (9, Buehrle)
RBI - Grady Sizemore (23)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - A. Cabrera-Peralta-Garko
E - Kelly Shoppach (1, Throwing)
Cleveland Indians
Aaron Laffey (L,2-3) 7622160 1.60
Masahide Kobayashi 0.2211010 3.54
Rafael Perez 0.1000000 3.26
WP - Aaron Laffey (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Laffey 95-57, Masahide Kobayashi 11-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Laffey 8-6, Rafael Perez 1-0
Batters Faced - Aaron Laffey 27, Masahide Kobayashi 4, Rafael Perez 1
Chicago White Sox
Orlando Cabrera, SS4110014 .219
Alexei Ramirez, 2B3010010 .203
   a- A.J. Pierzynski, PH-C1000000 .299
Carlos Quentin, LF4122000 .299
Jermaine Dye, RF4011021 .306
Jim Thome, DH4000033 .208
Paul Konerko, 1B3000000 .212
Joe Crede, 3B3000000 .275
Nick Swisher, CF2000100 .208
    Pablo Ozuna, 2B0000000 .243
Toby Hall, C3030000 .351
    Brian Anderson, PR-CF0100000 .260
Totals3138317  
a-flied out for Ramirez in the 8th
Batting
2B - Alexei Ramirez (4, Laffey)
RBI - Carlos Quentin 2 (40), Jermaine Dye (21)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Quentin (14), Jermaine Dye (6)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Ramirez-Cabrera-Konerko, Cabrera-Ramirez-Konerko
E - Toby Hall (1, Throwing)
Chicago White Sox
Mark Buehrle 7211420 4.82
Scott Linebrink (W,1-0) 1000020 1.29
Bobby Jenks (S,12) 1000010 1.77
Pitches-Strikes - Mark Buehrle 104-60, Scott Linebrink 9-7, Bobby Jenks 8-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Buehrle 11-6, Scott Linebrink 1-0
Batters Faced - Mark Buehrle 25, Scott Linebrink 3, Bobby Jenks 3
Game Information
Attendance - 28040
Game Time - 2:17
Temperature - 49
Umpires - Home - Paul Schrieber, First Base - Laz Diaz, Second Base - Wally Bell, Third Base - Mike Winters