CLEVELAND (AP) -- Even though his pitchers allowed 17 runs in losing the first two games of the season, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen maintained a positive outlook.
"We expected to win at least one game this year," Guillen said after Chicago defeated the Cleveland Indians 2-1 Thursday.John Danks didn't allow a hit until Casey Blake singled leading off the sixth inning, and Joe Crede hit a tiebreaking home run off Jake Westbrook to lead off the eighth.The win prevented the Indians from sweeping the three-game series."It's big to come in here and win a game against these guys," Crede said.Octavio Dotel (1-1) retired Blake on a flyout with runners on second and third to end the seventh, Scott Linebrink pitched a perfect eighth and Bobby Jenks retired the side in order in the ninth for his first save.Westbrook (0-1) gave up two runs and six hits in 7 1/3 innings, leaving after exactly 100 pitches. He didn't allow a hit until A.J. Pierzynski grounded a single to right with one out in the fifth.Cleveland pounded Chicago pitching in the first two games but managed two hits against four pitchers. Although Danks didn't receive credit for the win, the 22-year-old left-hander played a big role.The Indians' only runner in the first five innings came on a one-out walk to Ryan Garko in the second. Blake broke up the no-hit bid with a single up the middle in the sixth."The thought never crossed my mind," Danks said. "I wasn't paying any attention to it. I just knew my pitch count was low."Danks allowed one run and two hits in 6 2/3 innings. He was 6-13 with a 5.50 ERA in 26 starts as a rookie last year and entered winless in his previous seven starts, going 0-6 with a 7.84 ERA and a .321 opponents' batting average.Danks' last win came at Cleveland on July 16. He didn't pitch after Sept. 11 because he had thrown 139 innings and the White Sox wanted to protect him from overuse."I knew I had a rough second half last year," Danks said. "It was nice to get off on the right foot. Hopefully, it can carry over into my next start."Danks worked on a cut fastball in spring training to go along with his slider and curveball."It helped a ton," he said. "You could tell guys were protecting the inner half, which opened the outer half. That produced a lot of ground balls. That's the reason we worked on it.""He did a good job," Garko said. "He mixed his pitches well and his cutter was a little better than it was last year."Juan Uribe's leadoff homer in the sixth put the White Sox ahead."I made two mistakes and they were the difference in the game," Westbrook said. "It was a bad pitch to Uribe. I was trying to throw a fastball down and away and I got it in and over the plate and he made me pay for it. I got behind on Crede and made a bad pitch."The Indians tied the game in the seventh when Travis Hafner drew a one-out walk and Garko doubled over right fielder Jermaine Dye."We didn't have many opportunities and the few chances we had, we didn't take advantage of them," Indians manager Eric Wedge said.
Cleveland's Victor Martinez flied out as a pinch hitter in the eighth. The catcher left Monday's opener with a strained left hamstring and didn't play Wednesday. Wedge hopes Martinez can return to catching duties in the next few days. ... Swisher banged into the wall in center field catching Gutierrez's flyout in the second inning but stayed in the game.