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Thomas hits three-run homer

CHICAGO (AP) -- Jose Valentin was much happier to be swinging
away.

Valentin hit a game-ending two-run homer and drove in five runs
and Frank Thomas hit a three-run homer to help Chicago beat
Cleveland 11-9 Tuesday night, after nearly squandering an eight-run
lead.

Jose Jimenez (1-5) hit Thomas to lead off the 10th inning and
Carlos Lee flied out to the warning track before Valentin followed
with a homer to right.

"If Carlos got a hit I was going to bunt him over, so in a way
it was lucky that Carlos flew out," Valentin said.

Chicago reliever Shingo Takatsu (4-0) pitched the last two
innings and retired the first five batters he faced. Ronnie
Belliard singled in the 10th to end Takatsu's streak of batters
retired at 29, and Ben Broussard walked before Takatsu struck out
Coco Crisp to end it.

"He's the man of the hour for the Chicago White Sox. We found a
guy who can close games," said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen.
"In spring training I didn't think he would make the team, but
ever since spring training he's been amazing."

Belliard hit a three-run homer, Matt Lawton hit a two-run homer
and Crisp hit a tiebreaking solo homer for Cleveland.

Crisp homered off White Sox reliever Damaso Marte in the eighth
inning to take a 9-8 lead after trailing 8-0 in the fourth inning.

"These guys are going to focus on the positive. The fact of the
matter is you come back against a team like this, this far down --
that's special," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "We didn't
finish it off, we weren't able to get the win, but there was so
many other good things that happened through out the course of this
game."

The White Sox came back in the eighth to tie it at nine. Lee hit
a leadoff double off Matt Miller and Cliff Bartosh gave up an RBI
double to Valentin. Indians reliever David Riske came in and got
three consecutive outs to strand Valentin.

Indians starter Scott Elarton allowed three runs in the first
inning on four walks and one hit. He only got two outs before being
lifted in his third start for Cleveland.

Elarton started the season with Colorado, going 0-6 with a 9.80
ERA in eight starts.

Kazuhito Tadano relieved and gave up back-to-back singles to
Aaron Rowand and Joe Crede. Two outs later, Uribe hit an RBI single
and Thomas followed with a three-run homer to left, his 18th homer
of the season. Lee and Valentin followed with back-to-back doubles
off Tadano. Lee scored on Valentin's double, making it 8-0.

Chicago starter Esteban Loaiza retired the first 11 batters he
faced before Travis Hafner singled in the fourth. The hit was
initially called an error by the official scorer, but was changed
to a hit later in the game.

After only getting one hit in the first four innings and
trailing 8-0, the Indians scored six runs on seven hits off Loaiza
in the fifth.

"With the way Loaiza was pitching I never felt in my mind that
they would come back the way they did," said Valentin.

Jody Gerut and Casey Blake led off with singles and Belliard
followed with a three-run homer, cutting the Chicago lead to 8-3.
Omar Vizquel, Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez all hit run-scoring
singles to chase Loaiza and make it 8-6.

"The first four innings were great, the fifth inning was no
good. The pitches were up and they were taking advantage of it,"
Loaiza said.

White Sox reliever Neal Cotts walked Gerut to load the bases,
but escaped damage when he got Blake to hit into a double-play. He
allowed Lawton's game-tying homer in the sixth, however.

Loaiza pitched just 4 1-3 innings, giving up six runs on eight
hits. It was shortest outing of the season.

Game notes
Thomas tied Eddie Matthews for 19th place on the career
walks list with 1,444. ... Elarton had the second-shortest outing
of his career. He didn't register an out in his start on June 8,
2001 against Kansas City when he was a member of the Astros. ...
The White Sox have batted around 16 times this season. They batted
around in the first and third innings. ... Crisp made a diving
catch to rob Thomas of a hit in the fifth inning. ... Takatsu has
pitched 24 consecutive scoreless innings. ... Valentin's five RBI's
was a season-high.