CLEVELAND—With Edwin Jackson pitching well and breaks going their way, manager Ozzie Guillen believes the White Sox are poised for a pennant race.Jackson beat Cleveland for the ninth straight time after Indians rookie Ezequiel Carrera dropped an easy fly ball in center field to give the White Sox two runs in a 4-2 victory Sunday.
“The ball is bouncing our way now,” Guillen said. “Everytime somebody makes a mistake, we take advantage of it.”
Jackson (7-7) allowed one run and four hits over six innings to go to 9-1 in his career against Cleveland. He is 9-0 with a 2.61 ERA against the Indians since losing to them on Aug. 17, 2007, when he was with Tampa Bay.Adam Dunn lofted a pitch from Justin Masterson (8-7) to straightaway center with two outs in the sixth and runners on first and second. Carrera, in center for Cleveland with former Gold Glove winner Grady Sizemore on the disabled list, got under the towering fly. He looked up, stumbled to his right, then ducked as the ball glanced off his glove and fell to the ground.
“I stumbled a little bit when I reached the warning track,” Carrera said through an interpreter. “I was right underneath it, but when I stumbled, my head moved a little bit and I lost sight of it. I thought I was in the right spot. I just missed it. ”
It put the Sox ahead for good, 3-1, scoring Omar Vizquel, who had singled, and Paul Konerko, who was intentionally walked to face Dunn, hitting .161.Guillen said he immediately flashed back to the 2005 AL Central race, when the White Sox held off Cleveland and went on to win the World Series. Sizemore dropped a fly ball in the sun in a game in Kansas City to help the cause in the final week.Sergio Santos got the final two outs for his 20th save in 23 chances.Jesse Crain, Chris Sale and Santos pitched three hitless innings of relief. Crain worked the seventh, Sale struck out the side on 12 pitches in the eighth and got the first out in the ninth. Santos issued a walk before closing it out.The Sox, 38-29 since May 7, moved within two games of .500 and will host AL Central leading Detroit in a three-game series starting Monday. Cleveland has lost four straight and nine of 13. The Indians now lead the third-place White Sox by only 2 1/2 games.The Indians got one run back in their sixth. Asdrubal Cabrera walked and took off for second before Travis Hafner lined a ball to right-center. Cabrera never stopped, scoring all the way from first on the hard-hit single to make it 3-2.Two more Cleveland errors restored a two-run lead in the seventh. Alex Rios reached when Cabrera backed up on his soft liner, which bounced on the infield dirt and then off the shortstop’s glove. Rios stole second and continued to third when catcher Carlos Santana threw wildly. Mark Teahen broke an 0 for 12 skid with an RBI single to make it 4-2.The Sox took a 1-0 lead in the first on a groundout by Konerko, but Cleveland tied it in the fifth on Carrera’s two-out line single to right.Masterson allowed one earned run and four hits over seven innings. The right-hander walked only one and struck out six. He is 1-2 with a 1.23 ERA against the White Sox this season.
NOTES—Fans gave Carrera a loud cheer when he caught a simple fly ball hit by Pierre in the eighth. … The Indians have scored two runs or fewer in 10 of Masterson’s 21 starts. He is 1-5 in those starts. … Masterson has allowed six earned runs in his last 44 1-3 innings, a 1.22 ERA. …Guillen said that RHP Philip Humber will work out of the bullpen until an extra starter is needed. Guillen wants to keeps LHPs Mark Buehrle and John Danks and RHP Jake Peavy sharp and will start those three in order against Detroit. … Santos has not allowed an unearned run in 21 road relief outings this year. … Pierre has hit .367 (33 for 90) in his last 22 games.