Series: Game 1 of 4

Cleveland leads 1-0 (as of 6/21)

Game 1: Monday, June 21
Chi White Sox1
Game 2: Tuesday, June 22
in 11
Chi White Sox11
Game 3: Wednesday, June 23
Chi White Sox5
Game 4: Thursday, June 24
Chi White Sox7

Indians 5

(34-34, 13-19 away)

White Sox 1

(35-31, 20-13 home)

    8:05 PM ET, June 21, 2004

    U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago, Illinois 

    123456789 R H E
    CLE 300010010 5 10 1
    CWS 000100000 1 4 0

    W: C. Sabathia (5-3)

    L: S. Schoeneweis (5-6)

    Blake, Belliard homer in win

    CHICAGO (AP) -- C.C. Sabathia had more on his mind than just baseball Monday night.

    "Right now, I'm pitching with a heavy heart," Sabathia said.

    The Cleveland Indians left-hander allowed one run in eight impressive innings in a 5-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox, just hours after attending the funeral of a close cousin.

    Sabathia's cousin, Nathan Berhel, died last week. Sabathia also lost his father in December, and an uncle during spring training.

    "I buried a cousin that is not too far from my age this morning," said Sabathia, who wore his cousin's initials on his cap. "It just felt to go out there and get a win for him and my dad and my uncle. It's just been crazy this year, but I have to keep going. I have to be strong."

    Sabathia (5-3) scattered four hits and retired 13 of the last 14 he faced, including the last seven. He struck out four and walked one, and lowered his ERA from 2.95 to 2.80 -- second in the AL to Oakland's Tim Hudson (2.78).

    "I just tried to pound the strike zone," Sabathia said. "I was throwing everything for strikes today and I think that helped me out. That lineup is awesome over there, but with the absence of Magglio (Ordonez), I think it is a little easier to face."

    Ronnie Belliard and Casey Blake homered in the first inning, and Victor Martinez had a career-high four hits for the Indians, who moved within two games of the White Sox for second place in the AL Central. They also moved to .500 (34-34) for the first time since April 8.

    Matt Miller pitched a perfect ninth to complete the four-hitter.

    Aaron Rowand hit a solo homer off the left-field foul pole on a 1-2 pitch from Sabathia in the fourth for the White Sox, who have lost five of their last six. Rowand had three of the four hits against Sabathia, and finished 3-for-4.

    The Indians got off to a quick start against Scott Schoeneweis (5-6).

    Belliard led off the game with a homer to left on a 3-1 pitch from Schoeneweis for his sixth career leadoff home run. Two outs later, Martinez singled and Blake followed with a two-run homer -- his 11th -- to give the Indians a 3-0 lead.

    "That was awesome, especially scoring those runs early in the first inning," Sabathia said. "It gave me the confidence to come out here and shut them down."

    Sabathia's night almost ended early when he and plate umpire Tim Timmons exchanged words after the big left-hander didn't get a called strike during Jose Valentin's at-bat in the second inning. When Sabathia approached the plate, first baseman Lou Merloni restrained him and manager Eric Wedge quickly came out of the dugout to speak with Timmons. There were no further incidents.

    Sabathia didn't think he said anything that would warrant an ejection.

    "All I was telling him is that I didn't say anything to him," Sabathia said. "I wasn't even worried about it."

    With the Indians leading 3-1 with one out in the fifth, Coco Crisp grounded into a fielder's choice and second baseman Juan Uribe had a chance to turn it into an inning-ending double play, but Uribe made a bad throw to first and Crisp was safe.

    Matt Lawton followed with a single that got past first baseman Paul Konerko's glove, and Martinez drove in Crisp with an RBI single.

    Martinez led off the eighth with a double to right off White Sox reliever Mike Jackson and scored on Merloni's sacrifice fly to make it 5-1.

    Schoeneweis gave up four runs and eight hits in seven innings. He struck out four and walked two.

    White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen held a team meeting after the game.

    "They should believe in themselves, it's not time to panic," Guillen said. "Every game is going to be a big game."

    Game notes

    Joe Crede doubled in the fourth for the only other hit for the White Sox. ... Rowand had his fifth straight multihit game. ... The White Sox have homered in 16 straight home games. ... Sabathia is 6-1 against the White Sox.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press