CHICAGO (AP) -- No stranger to drama, A.J. Pierzynski found himself at the center of it again. This time, he didn't mind.
Pierzynski led off the 10th inning with his second homer of the game and the Chicago White Sox beat the Cleveland Indians 6-5 Wednesday night for their seventh straight win."Ozzie was yelling at me to not try to be a hero and hit a single," Pierzynski said. "When I hit it, I was like, its got a chance. But I didn't know it was going to make it."It did, giving the White Sox a three-game sweep and their second 10-inning win in as many nights.Pierzynski always seems to find himself at the center of the action for the White Sox, from reaching base on a controversial dropped third strike against the Los Angeles Angels in the 2005 playoffs to fighting with former Cubs catcher Michael Barrett in 2006.This type of attention he'll take.Masa Kobayashi (4-4) pitched a perfect ninth before Pierzynski drove the first pitch of the 10th out to left-center for his seventh homer. Teammates mobbed Pierzynski as he crossed the plate.Adam Russell (2-0) worked the 10th for his second win in as many nights and the second of his career.C.C. Sabathia allowed five runs and seven hits in eight innings for Cleveland. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner struck out five and walked two.The last-place Indians have lost five straight and are 12 1/2 games back of the White Sox in the AL Central. They could look to deal Sabathia if they continue to lag behind in the division, with the big left-hander eligible for free agency at the end of the season."I'm just worrying about day to day pitching," Sabathia said. "I get the ball and that's it."Grady Sizemore hit two solo homers for Cleveland, tying it at 5 with a drive off Scott Linebrink in the ninth."I made a bad pitch tonight and he got it," Linebrink said. "You can't make mistakes to him. You certainly don't want to put him on the bases to lead off an inning in a close ballgame like that because you put him on the bases, the next thing you know he's on second in scoring position. You want to be aggressive and go after him. It was a changeup up in the zone and he hit it. I've got to make a better pitch right there."Pierzynski and Jermaine Dye went deep in the first inning and Nick Swisher singled in a run in the second to give Chicago a 3-2 lead.Sizemore walked and scored on Jamey Carroll's triple in the fifth and connected in the sixth to put the Indians ahead, but Sabathia ran into trouble in the seventh.Pablo Ozuna led off the inning with a grounder to third baseman Casey Blake, whose wild throw allowed Ozuna to reach second. Alexei Ramirez lined a one-out infield single off Blake's glove and Brian Anderson followed with a two-run double to left-center.Nick Masset was in line for his first win after pitching a scoreless seventh, but with closer Bobby Jenks getting the night off because of soreness in his left side, the White Sox turned to Linebrink in the ninth. He blew his second save in as many chances when Sizemore connected."I thought we did a good job of taking the momentum back our way," Sizemore said. "Obviously it was still a tie game but I thought we had the momentum. I was confident we were going to win."Cleveland's chances looked good after scoring four runs on six hits in six innings against Jose Contreras, but the White Sox still have their momentum after sweeping the Cubs over the weekend."It's only July 2, but we've got a long ways to go," Pierzynski said. "We feel good. We like the position we're in, we like the situation we have going right now. We like the way we're playing, and we like the way everyone is contributing."
White Sox 1B Paul Konerko reiterated his strained left oblique felt better after taking batting practice for the second straight day but was not sure when he would start a minor league rehab assignment. "I don't think it's all my decision on when I'll go," he said. "I think it'll be my decision on when I come back because I'm the only one that's going to know exactly how it feels in the game." Konerko said the oblique started to flare up after about 20 swings, just as it did on Tuesday, but he shrugged that off as "that last little bit of scar tissue you have to break through." ... Ozuna started at third for Joe Crede, who insisted his surgically repaired back is fine and that he just had a day off. ... Sizemore is the first American League player with 20 homers and 20 stolen bases this year.