Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – A.J. Pierzynski’s three-run blast in the ninth provided the difference, as the White Sox beat the Cleveland Indians, 4-3, in Manny Ramirez’s first game in a Chicago uniform.
Pierzynski’s seventh home run of the season helped the White Sox win for the fourth time in six games. Chicago now stands 3 1/2 games behind Minnesota in the AL Central, and the Twins are currently taking on Detroit.
Ramirez, who was acquired in a waiver claim from the Dodgers on Monday, suited up, but did not play. He was standing in the on-deck circle when Pierzynski went deep, but was pulled back to the dugout after the White Sox took the lead.
Edwin Jackson (3-0), meanwhile, continued to star with Chicago, throwing his third consecutive 10-plus strikeout performance in 8 2/3 innings. He allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk while fanning 11. He’s allowed just six earned runs in 36 2/3 innings with his new club since a trade with Arizona and has struck out 10 or more in three straight games for the first time in his career.
Shelley Duncan homered for Cleveland, as the Indians lost their third straight. Justin Masterson was solid in 7 2/3 innings, allowing just one run, four hits and two walks while fanning seven, but Joe Smith (1-2) was saddled with the loss.
After tying the game with a run in the eighth, the White Sox went ahead with a big blast in the ninth.
Smith began the inning and walked both Alex Rios and Carlos Quentin, preceding Frank Herrmann’s entrance out of the bullpen. Pierzynski was the first batter to face Herrmann and launched a three-run homer into the right-field bleachers for a 4-1 advantage.
The Indians brought the tying run to the plate after two singles in the ninth, and Jason Donald scored them both with a two-out single to center. That chased Jackson in favor of Bobby Jenks, who allowed a base hit to pinch-hitter Matt LaPorta, sending Donald to second.
Michael Brantley, though, grounded out to Jenks to end the rally and the game. Jenks earned his 25th save.
Neither offense was unable to push any runs across in the first six innings.
The White Sox had a chance in the third, when Alexei Ramirez reached on an error and advanced to third with one out. Masterson was able to get Juan Pierre to foul out and Omar Vizquel to ground out to end the threat.
The Indians squandered a leadoff double from Lou Marson in the home half, and Jayson Nix flied out with two runners on in the sixth.
Duncan, though, finally ended the stalemate in the seventh, leading off the inning with a blast over the wall in left for a 1-0 Cleveland lead.
The White Sox rallied to tie it in the eighth. Mark Kotsay worked a walk leading off and was replaced by Brent Lillibridge on the base path. He was bunted to second and scored on Mark Teahen’s base hit to center.
Jackson is the first White Sox pitcher to record three straight 10-strikeout performances since Floyd Bannister — the father of Royals pitcher Brian Bannister — did it in 1985…Chicago first baseman Paul Konerko surpassed manager Ozzie Guillen for fifth all-time games played with the franchise with his 1,744th appearance…The Indians still lead the season series, 8-6.