|Chi. White Sox (40-63)||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||2||6||1|
|Cleveland (57-48) «||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||1||3||4||2|
CLEVELAND -- Jason Giambi still had the chills long after he shook Progressive Field.
Giambi hit a pinch-hit home run leading off the ninth inning, a towering shot over the center field wall that sent the Cleveland Indians to their fifth consecutive victory 3-2 against the Chicago White Sox on Monday night.
Batting for Mark Reynolds, Giambi belted a 1-1 pitch from Ramon Troncoso (1-3) into the bushes beyond the fence. It was the 436th career home run and ninth career walk-off shot for the popular 42-year-old slugger, who had a bucket of ice water dumped over his head by teammates.
"I might catch pneumonia," he joked. "I'm a little old to be dunked with water. I love it. I've been preaching all year one guy is not more important than another and it's going to take all 25 of us, even more than that, to win ballgames and we've done it all year. It's just exciting to be a part of it."
According to STATS, Giambi is the oldest player in major league history to hit a walk-off home run, surpassing Hank Aaron, who was 42 days older than Giambi when he did it in 1976.
Closer Chris Perez (3-1) pitched the ninth, allowing a two-out triple to Dayan Viciedo but stranded the go-ahead run when left fielder Michael Brantley made a sensational, running catch for the third out.
With their 10th victory in 14 games, the Indians moved within 2½ games of the idle Detroit Tigers for first place in the AL Central.
The sinking White Sox have lost four straight and 10 of 13.
Giambi's dramatic shot -- and postgame bath -- provided more memorable snapshots for the Indians, who are making a strong push as August approaches. Cleveland is keeping the pressure on the Tigers as well as injecting themselves into the wild-card discussion.
As he rounded third, Giambi smiled when he saw his teammates awaiting his arrival at the plate. He leaped into their welcome-home party and nearly had his jersey pulled off in the celebration.
"That's what keeps you coming back," Giambi said. "There's no moment more special than when you get that embrace from your teammates and all those smiles. It's exciting."
The well-respected Giambi has been instrumental in bringing the Indians together and they are clicking at just the right time.
"I love how we're growing and that's what I keep telling them, we're growing and we're going to keep learning and learning and getting better and better," Giambi said. "Even in the down times we were learning. It's exciting how it's all coming together."
Perez got the first two outs in the ninth before Viciedo hit a sinking liner that skipped past right fielder Ryan Raburn and rolled all the way to the wall. Center fielder Michael Bourn hustled over threw it quickly to the infield, preventing Viciedo from trying for an inside-the-park homer.
Gordon Beckham followed with a line drive to left that Brantley casually ran down and snared with an overhead catch to keep it tied at 2. When he got back to the dugout, Brantley was greeted by several of his teammates and a thankful Perez.
"I thought it was off the wall," said Perez, who patted his heart as he walked to the dugout.
The Indians got another strong outing from a starter as Zach McAllister allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings. Cleveland's starters came in with a 1.79 ERA in the previous 16 games.
The White Sox fell 23 games below .500 for the first time since 2007.
With the trading deadline approaching Wednesday at 4 p.m., the last-place team may make some deals.
"You've got to be able to get through it," manager Robin Ventura said. "It will be better in a couple of days because it will be over. It's stuff you have to deal with every year. It's different this year because they're not in the who-we're-going-to-get stage."
The Indians' streak of 26 consecutive scoreless innings ended in the sixth.
It was the first run given up by the Indians since the eighth inning on Friday. Cleveland posted consecutive shutouts over the weekend against Texas, and lead the majors with 14 shutouts.
As has been the case during their recent surge, the Indians grabbed an early lead.
They went ahead in the second on Carlos Santana's sacrifice fly, the 16th straight game Cleveland has scored first -- a new franchise record. The Indians scored first in 15 games in a row in 1906, and Cleveland's current streak is the majors' longest since Milwaukee did it 21 consecutive times in 1990.
|Veteran Jason Giambi is greeted at home plate by the Indians, who move within 2 1/2 games of the Tigers in the AL Central. (USATSI)|
|Players of the Game|
|Chicago (A.L.) White Sox|
|Alejandro De Aza, CF||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.276|
|Alexei Ramirez, SS||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.281|
|Alex Rios, RF||4||1||1||0||0||1||2||.272|
|Adam Dunn, 1B||4||1||1||1||0||2||2||.212|
|Paul Konerko, DH||4||0||1||1||0||0||1||.244|
|Conor Gillaspie, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.249|
|Dayan Viciedo, LF||4||0||2||0||0||0||1||.257|
|Gordon Beckham, 2B||3||0||0||0||1||0||2||.302|
|Josh Phegley, C||3||0||0||0||0||0||2||.207|
|2B - Alex Rios (22, McAllister), Adam Dunn (10, McAllister), Dayan Viciedo (15, McAllister)|
|3B - Dayan Viciedo (3, Perez)|
|RBI - Adam Dunn (63), Paul Konerko (35)|
|2-OUT RBI - Adam Dunn (33), Paul Konerko (20)|
|SB - Alexei Ramirez 2 (23, 2nd base off McAllister/Santana)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|E - Conor Gillaspie (7, Throwing)|
|Chicago (A.L.) White Sox|
|Ramon Troncoso (L,1-3)||1||1||1||1||0||0||1||5.59|
|WP - Donnie Veal (2)|
|Pitches-Strikes - John Danks 101-55, Matt Lindstrom 1-1, Donnie Veal 19-10, Ramon Troncoso 17-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Danks 6-10, Matt Lindstrom 1-0, Donnie Veal 1-0, Ramon Troncoso 2-1|
|Batters Faced - John Danks 25, Matt Lindstrom 1, Donnie Veal 4, Ramon Troncoso 4|
|Michael Bourn, CF||2||1||0||0||2||0||0||.288|
|Nick Swisher, 1B||3||0||0||0||1||0||2||.244|
|Jason Kipnis, 2B||4||0||2||0||0||2||0||.297|
|Asdrubal Cabrera, SS||4||1||0||1||0||0||0||.249|
|Ryan Raburn, LF-RF||4||0||1||0||0||1||3||.268|
|Carlos Santana, C||3||0||0||1||0||0||3||.271|
|Mark Reynolds, DH||1||0||0||0||2||0||0||.214|
|a-Jason Giambi, PH-DH||1||1||1||1||0||0||0||.194|
|Mike Aviles, 3B||2||0||0||0||0||0||2||.265|
|Drew Stubbs, RF||2||0||0||0||0||0||2||.239|
|b-Michael Brantley, PH-LF||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.282|
|a-homered for Reynolds in the 9th|
|b-struck out for Stubbs in the 7th|
|2B - Ryan Raburn (13, Danks)|
|HR - Jason Giambi (7, Troncoso)|
|SF - Carlos Santana (3)|
|SH - Mike Aviles (4)|
|RBI - Asdrubal Cabrera (40), Carlos Santana (46), Jason Giambi (24)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Swisher-A. Cabrera|
|E - Cody Allen (2, Misplayed grounder), Mike Aviles (6, Misplayed grounder)|
|Chris Perez (W,3-1)||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||2.56|
|Pitches-Strikes - Zach McAllister 90-63, Cody Allen 11-7, Rich Hill 6-3, Chris Perez 10-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zach McAllister 8-11, Cody Allen 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Zach McAllister 27, Cody Allen 3, Rich Hill 1, Chris Perez 4|
|Attendance - 14868|
|Game Time - 2:42|
|Temperature - 70|
|Umpires - Home - James Hoye, First Base - Bob Davidson, Second Base - D.J. Reyburn, Third Base - John Hirschbeck|