Final

Series: Game 3 of 3

Chi White Sox won 2-1

Game 1: Friday, June 9
Cleveland4Final
Chi White Sox5
Game 2: Saturday, June 10
Cleveland3Final
in 11
Chi White Sox4
Game 3: Sunday, June 11
Cleveland10Final
Chi White Sox8

Indians 10

(30-32, 12-17 away)

White Sox 8

(38-24, 24-10 home)

8:05 PM ET, June 11, 2006

U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago, Illinois 

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CLE 012041110 10 11 3
CWS 002000006 8 12 0

W: J. Westbrook (6-3)

L: F. Garcia (7-4)

S: B. Wickman (9)

Four homers help Cleveland avoid sweep

CHICAGO (AP) -- Run by run, the lead was dwindling. The suspense was building, so the Cleveland Indians turned to Bob Wickman.

This time, the closer delivered.

Wickman gave up a hit and a sacrifice fly but recorded the final two outs as the Cleveland Indians survived a six-run ninth inning by the Chicago White Sox to hang on for a 10-8 victory and avoid a three-game sweep on Sunday night.

"If I do my job (Saturday), we take two out of three games," Wickman said. "The guys came back and battled tonight, beat a good pitcher. It was great the way they battled back. ... We had to come out and win tonight."

For eight innings, this looked like an easy win.

Victor Martinez and Ronnie Belliard hit two-run homers, Travis Hafner and Jason Michaels added solo shots. The four home runs tied a season high for Cleveland, which snapped a three-game losing streak.

That was plenty for Jake Westbrook (6-3), who allowed two runs in eight innings and improved to 3-0 against the White Sox. He gave up six hits and struck out four.

Martinez and Belliard went deep in the fifth to extend the Indians' lead to 7-2, and Hafner knocked out White Sox starter Freddy Garcia (7-4) with a solo shot in the sixth. Michaels added a homer off Sean Tracy in the eighth.

Things got tense in the ninth when Brian Anderson hit a three-run homer off reliever Jason Davis, who faced five batters and did not record an out. Rafael Betancourt got an out before giving up an RBI single to Ross Gload that made it 10-6.

The Indians then turned to Wickman, who gave up a sacrifice fly to Rob Mackowiak and RBI single to A.J. Pierzynski before getting Pablo Ozuna to fly out for his ninth save in 10 opportunities.

"I apologize to (Betancourt) for giving up his runs, but at that point it's just trying not to let the tying runs score and just get two outs," Wickman said.

The save came a day after Wickman had a heated exchange with pitcher Paul Byrd in the clubhouse.

This time, there was about a 20-minute meeting following the game. Manager Eric Wedge's voice was audible through the closed doors, but he insisted that it was an upbeat session, that it wasn't about the ninth inning.

"It was more about where we're at," he said. "We've got 100 games left, just talking to the fellas. It was all positive."

Although Martinez declined comment on the session, Wickman called it a "great meeting."

Hafner had three hits and improved to 15-for-31 lifetime against Garcia. Martinez had two hits and extended his hitting streak to nine games, after homering twice on Saturday. And Belliard had two hits and drove in four runs.

The Indians were leading 3-2 when Hafner led off the fifth with a walk. Martinez then knocked a 3-2 pitch an estimated 414 feet to right-center for his 10th homer. After Ben Broussard walked, Belliard then sent a shot to the bullpen in left for his fourth homer.

Garcia left to boos after Hafner made it 8-2 with his 18th homer. The right-hander has allowed 10 homers in his last four starts and is 0-3 in that stretch. It was also his third loss to the Indians. Cleveland has scored 20 runs in 16 innings against Garcia, who suggested he might have tipped his pitches.

"I throw a good pitch, and they take it," he said. "Maybe they know what's coming. I have to work on that. I have to try to find out what is going on."

Chicago's Alex Cintron hit his second homer in six days -- a solo shot in the third.

Otherwise, the White Sox did little against Westbrook, who had a 1.35 earned-run average in his first two starts against them.

Wickman called his exchange with Byrd "just a little argument between players."

"You ever get into an argument with your wife? People have arguments," Wickman said.

He had saved 24 straight games dating to last August before allowing two runs and four hits, including Tadahito Iguchi's game-winning single on Saturday.

Afterward, the closer was walking around the locker room with ice on his right shoulder when Byrd said, "Take it off." Wickman responded by saying, "We can take this outside." The exchange ended when Wickman walked to the trainer's room.

"What had happened last night was over," Wickman said. "I talked to you guys about it (before the game), and I never talk about it the next day. So I am lightening up to the media a little bit. I always stay focused because anything can happen."

Game notes


Cleveland hit four homers against Oakland on June 7. ... The Indians recalled IF Ramon Vazquez from Triple-A Buffalo on Sunday and had him start at shortstop in place of the struggling Jhonny Peralta. Vazquez had three errors. ... White Sox 3B Joe Crede was back in the starting lineup after missing two games with back spasms. He left Thursday's game against Detroit in the second inning.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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