Sox blow lead in ninth, then escape 10-6 in 11 over Tribe

CLEVELAND—As the herd of reporters and camera crews streamed into the White Sox clubhouse and headed toward manager Ozzie Guillen’s tiny office, one of the White Sox coaches wondered if the team’s newest player had arrived during extra innings. “Is Manny here?” he asked. Not yet. He’s on the way, though. Manny Ramirez is about to enter the middle of the lineup, and the White Sox are already swinging for the playoffs.Yet they still are four games in back of Minnesota,and are lucky it’s not five.Brent Lillibridge atoned for a costly error in the ninth inning by hitting a two-out homer in the 11th as the White Sox opened a critical 10-game road trip with a 10-6 win over the Cleveland Indians, hours after they officially claimed Ramirez off waivers Monday.Lillibridge entered in the seventh, when second baseman Gordon Beckham left after being hit on the right hand with a pitch. In the ninth, Lillibridge bare-handed a high hopper but threw past first, helping the Indians tie it at 6 against closer Bobby Jenks. Lillibridge was hoping for a chance to make up for it, and he got it in the 11th. He came to the plate with just one homer in 58 at-bats and was in a 2-for-27 rut before connecting off ineffective Rafael Perez (4-1).Alex Rios homered, drove in four runs and had five of 21 hits as the White Sox won for just the sixth time in 15 games. Scott Linebrink (2-1) pitched two scoreless innings.The White Sox moved within four games of first-place Minnesota in the AL Central, and after the game got good news on Beckham. X-rays were negative, but for a moment there was concern that the injury was much worse.Beckham doesn’t know how long he will be out.The White Sox appeared on their way to an easy — if ugly — win. But Jenks, who has been overworked with relievers J.J. Putz and Matt Thornton out with injuries, couldn’t finish off the Indians.Jenks walked Shin Soo-Choo leading off, and after the White Sox allowed him to take second, Shelley Duncan blooped an RBI single to left to bring Cleveland within two. Travis Hafner followed with his third double — and fourth hit — that brought manager Ozzie Guillen out to the mound.Guillen stuck with Jenks, who got Luis Valbuena to hit a high chopper to Lillibridge. He fielded it but rushed his throw as two runs scored.Jason Nix homered for the last-place Indians, who have dropped 11 of 16 and stranded 16.Before he plays for the White Sox, Ramirez may have to visit the barber. The White Sox have an appearance policy, and before Manny can start being Manny, he’ll have to get at least a few inches trimmed off his flowing hair, which currently hangs to the middle of his back.The White Sox are picking up the remaining $3.825 million of Ramirez’s contract this season, a payment that won’t be painful if it comes after a playoff appearance.Even without Ramirez, the White Sox have been hitting. They have 10 or more hits 13 times in the past 16 games, and they wasted no time putting Indians starter Mitch Talbot in a 5-0 hole after two innings.Rios hit his 19th homer in the sixth to give the White Sox a 6-3 lead.


NOTES—It was Paul Konerko’s 1,744th game with the Sox, tying him with Guillen for fifth on the team’s list….Chris Sale struck out the side in the seventh…..Nix was ejected in the seventh for arguing a called third strike….Guillen gushed when asked about Omar Vizquel’s impact on the White Sox. “You want to talk about a savior. It’s been my pleasure to manage that that kid,” the 46-year-old Guillen said. “I never thought when we got him he would be this good for us.”…..In addition to adding Ramirez, the White Sox moved Jake Peavy to the 60-day disabled list. Peavy had surgery on a right side muscle in July and is out for the season.