CHICAGO — The Cleveland Indians were in position to hand the Chicago White Sox another loss and drop them into a tie for the AL Central lead.
Zach McAllister pitched effectively for six innings and the Indians got 10 hits off White Sox ace Chris Sale, including Russ Canzler’s tie-breaking two-run shot.
Then Adam Dunn found his swing — and the Indians were on their way to another agonizing loss.
More photos below.
Dunn homered in consecutive plate appearances, including a clutch three-run shot in the eighth inning, and the White Sox rallied for a 5-4 victory Monday that kept them one game in front of second-place Detroit in the division.
Dunn’s last drive of the night and No. 41 on the season came on an 0-2 pitch from Vinnie Pestano (3-3), who also walked pinch-hitter Dan Johnson and yielded an infield single to Kevin Youkilis that went off third baseman Jack Hannahan’s glove.
“They beat our best guy out of the ’pen,” Cleveland manager Manny Acta said. “Unfortunately, walks got us where we’re at right now, and it hurt us again today.
“We need to execute better. Just can’t allow a three-run homer to lose a game on a fastball right down the middle on an 0-2 count. That’s something that has hurt us in the past, and we continue to play young when it comes to those situations.”
The Indians dropped to 19-50 since the All-Star break. They got a run in the ninth when Shin-Soo Choo hit a two-out RBI double off Donnie Veal, but the left-hander got Jason Kipnis to ground out to convert his first save opportunity of the season.
“We had a rough season and we’re a little short-handed right now, but they got after it,” Acta said. “They made one last push, but we didn’t get it done.”
Dunn’s two homers came after he struck out in his two at-bats off McAllister.
“The last homer, that probably was the most important so far in my career. That was a win we needed,” said Dunn, who also connected in the sixth as Chicago snapped a five-game losing streak.
Dunn reached 40 homers in a season for the first time since 2008 and the sixth time in his career. It’s quite a turnaround from last season, when he batted .159 with 11 homers in his first year with Chicago.
The burly slugger entered Monday night’s game in a 2-for-21 skid.
“Obviously he had a down year last year, but he’s been tremendous for them this year,” Pestano said. “You can’t make mistakes to those guys. You have to get ahead and you have to bring it. I wasn’t throwing my off-speed for strikes tonight. That had me leaning on fastball, missed a spot and he got me.”
Brett Myers (3-3) pitched the eighth for the win.
McAllister struck out seven in six innings and was charged with two runs and four hits.
- Dunn is the sixth player in White Sox history to reach 40 homers, joining Frank Thomas, Paul Konerko, Albert Belle, Jermaine Dye and Jim Thome.
- Indians OF Michael Brantley (sore groin) was out of the starting lineup. Acta said Brantley was injured during a rundown against Kansas City. He said Brantley will “need a day or two.”
- Acta said SS Jason Donald (wrist) was “a little sore” after swinging a bat Sunday, the first time he’s done so since being hit by a pitch Sept. 14. There is no timetable for his return.
- White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Jake Peavy might be pushed from Wednesday to Thursday, meaning he would pitch the opener of the final four-game home series against the Rays.