" Turning point: Garko's ninth-inning pinch-hit homer handed Chicago closer Bobby Jenks his fifth blown save and gave Cleveland extended life.
" Figure this: The Indians tallied their 28th come-from-behind win and 15th in their final at-bat.
" Nostalgic past time: The Indians have taken part in a season-long, 16-team tournament in the old-school Nintendo video game "RBI Baseball," popular in the 1980s.
" Quotable: "I was on a team like this in college. We always feel like we've got a chance to win." -- Garko, who played for Stanford
-- ESPN.com news services
Indians 6, White Sox 5 (11 innings)
CLEVELAND -- Ryan Garko's hair was sticky and his face was
still covered with remnants of another whipped cream pie.
Once again, he and his teammates treated themselves to some
Garko hit a game-tying pinch-hit home run in the ninth inning
and singled home the winning run in the 11th to give the Cleveland
Indians a 6-5 victory Tuesday night over the Chicago White Sox,
whose bullpen failed them again.
The Indians' 28th come-from-behind win -- and 15th in their final
at-bat -- kept them one game behind first-place Detroit in the AL
"I was on a team like this in college," said Garko, who played
at Stanford. "We always feel like we've got a chance to win."
Jason Michaels opened the 11th with a base hit off rookie Dewon
Day (0-1) that he turned into a double by beating Jermaine Dye's
throw from right field. Garko followed with a broken-bat bloop just
over shortstop Juan Uribe's outstretched glove.
Michaels, who took a chance by breaking at the sound of the bat,
was waved around and scored easily as the Indians poured out of the
dugout and pummeled Garko on the infield dirt for the second time
in five days for hitting a walk-off winner.
During a TV interview afterward, Garko, who homered off Bobby
Jenks in the ninth, was smashed in the face with a pie, a new
tradition for these Indians, who have made late-inning comebacks
their calling card this season.
"I couldn't believe it when Jason took off," Garko said. "He
had the new white cleats on so he was a little faster tonight."
Rafael Betancourt (2-0) pitched a perfect 11th for the Indians,
who had 27 comeback wins last season.
"That's what a winning team does," White Sox manager Ozzie
Guillen said. "They don't let anything bother them. That's why
this team is where it is. That's a very good team and they always
think they can win."
Jenks, trying to nail down his 26th save and protect a 5-3 lead,
instead suffered his fifth blown save and added a new chapter to
Chicago's endless summer of bullpen blunders. White Sox relievers
are 3-14 with a 7.50 ERA and 10 blown saves since May 8.
"We got where we wanted to," Guillen said. "We got the game
to Bobby but he couldn't hold the lead."
Trot Nixon opened the ninth with a single and Garko followed
with a long shot into the seats in left, his second pinch-hit homer
this season and the latest late-inning heroics for the Indians.
"It's just crazy for him to be sitting all night, then go up
there against a nasty closer like Jenks and hit one out," Michaels
said. "Then he came through again. Not one, but two big hits."
Chicago starter Jon Garland had kept Chicago's bullpen door
closed as long as he could by pitching six solid innings, and the
White Sox were on the verge of another tight win when the Indians
Jim Thome had three hits and two RBIs for Chicago.
Garland, who was ill with a stomach ailment on Monday, threw a
season-high 122 pitches and came within a few outs of improving to
4-0 in his last four road starts.
Dye homered off Indians starter Paul Byrd in the sixth and threw
out the potential tying run at the plate in the eighth.
Down 4-3, Cleveland got the tying run to third in the eighth
with one out. Franklin Gutierrez then hit a fly to medium right
that Dye caught on the move before firing a perfect one-hop throw
to get pinch-runner Ben Francisco.
The White Sox added an insurance run in the ninth when A.J.
Pierzynski was hit on the right elbow by Tom Mastny with the bases
loaded. But once again, Chicago's bullpen couldn't make it stand
On Monday, Chicago relievers nearly blew a nine-run lead in an
11-10 victory, prompting general manager Kenny Williams to
unexpectedly join his struggling team on its 11-game road trip.
Byrd, who has just one win in his last eight starts, walked two
-- the most he has allowed in 16 starts since April 14.
Dye, the subject of several trade rumors, gave the White Sox a
4-2 lead with his 16th homer, a towering shot to left.
With little trust in his bullpen, Guillen had no choice but to
stick with Garland, who threw 97 pitches through five innings. The
Indians pulled within 4-3 on Nixon's RBI single but Garland got
Kelly Shoppach to pop out on his final pitch with two runners on to
end the threat.
The Indians have had a season-long obsession with "RBI
Baseball," the old-school Nintendo video game popular in the
1980s. Since Sunday, players and clubhouse staffers have been
competing in a 16-team tournament, complete with seedings. "Guys
are really into it," said pitcher Jake Westbrook, tourney director
and resident trash talker, who isn't playing and has spent the past
few days hearing teammates grumble about their seeds. "I'm
brutal," he said. "The worst." ... After batting just .237 in
June, the White Sox are hitting .288 in July. ... The start was
delayed 25 minutes by rain.