Final

Series: Game 1 of 3

Cleveland leads 1-0 (as of 8/31)

Game 1: Friday, August 31
Chi White Sox5Final
Cleveland8
Game 2: Saturday, September 1
Chi White Sox0Final
Cleveland7
Game 3: Sunday, September 2
Chi White Sox8Final
Cleveland0

White Sox 5

(57-78, 28-41 away)

Indians 8

(77-57, 43-26 home)

    7:05 PM ET, August 31, 2007

    Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio 

    123456789 R H E
    CWS 000023000 5 8 0
    CLE 00000206 - 8 8 0

    W: A. Fultz (4-2)

    L: M. MacDougal (1-5)

    S: R. Betancourt (1)

    Indians rally in eighth inning vs. struggling White Sox

    A CLOSER LOOK
    • Summary: The White Sox built a 5-0 lead, but the Indians continued their comeback magic in the final three innings. Cleveland scored two runs in the sixth and six more in the eighth to earn its seventh straight victory. Victor Martinez got the eighth inning rally started with an RBI single and Casey Blake finished it with a three-run double.

    Victor Martinez
    Martinez

    • Slumping ChiSox: Chicago has lost four straight and nine of its last 10 games. The White Sox have lost 10 straight road games for the first time since 1977.

    • Watch out: Home plate umpire John Hirschbeck was struck on the right knee by a foul tip in the sixth inning. Hirschbeck, 52, laid flat on his back for several minutes in obvious pain before being checked by an Indians trainer. He stayed in the game, and in the seventh he was hit by a foul tip on his padded right shoulder.

    • Hunt for October: Cleveland increased its lead on Detroit in the AL Central to five games with the victory.

    • Quotable: "We kept scraping, clawing and scratching and we got a little help.'' -- Blake

    -- ESPN.com news services

    Indians 8, White Sox 5

    CLEVELAND (AP) -- Ryan Garko watched his grounder head toward shortstop Juan Uribe and had only one thought.

    "Routine," he said. "I thought I was out."

    White Sox pitcher Mike MacDougal did, too.

    "Inning over," he said.

    Hardly.

    Garko's hard-to-believe RBI single helped Cleveland rally for six runs in the eighth inning as the Indians won their seventh straight, 8-5 over the Chicago White Sox, whose sorry season got worse Friday night.

    The Indians did nothing against starter Mark Buehrle for five innings and trailed 5-0 in the sixth before coming back against Chicago's heinous bullpen -- with two outs in the eighth -- to move 20 games over .500 for the first time this season.

    Cleveland improved to 12-3 since Aug. 15 and opened a season-high 5 1/2-game lead over the second-place Detroit Tigers.

    "It took a funny hop," Garko said. "Sometimes nothing goes your way, and all of a sudden we're catching breaks."

    Down by three entering the eighth, the Indians got a two-out RBI single from Victor Martinez to make it 5-3. MacDougal (1-5) came on and appeared to get an inning-ending groundout, but Garko's bouncer toward Uribe hit the infield's grassy lip and bounded over the shortstop's head, bringing Cleveland within 5-4.

    "It was beautiful," Blake said.

    After Jhonny Peralta walked to load the bases, pinch-hitter Kenny Lofton, whose bases-loaded walk in the ninth inning brought in the winning run on Thursday against Seattle, drew a four-pitch walk from MacDougal to force in the tying run.

    Blake went to a full count, and with the runners moving, he reached out for a ball on the outside corner and slapped his double over the bag at first.

    "We kept scraping, clawing and scratching," Blake said, "and we got a little help."

    The White Sox have lost 10 straight road games for the first time since 1977, and following their latest loss, manager Ozzie Guillen, who has spent the past few days venting about his club's poor season, could only shrug his shoulders.

    "It's getting to the point where you want to laugh," he said. "It's not easy. Sometimes you erupt and sometimes you just take the beating."

    Aaron Fultz (4-2) pitched two scoreless innings and Rafael Betancourt, filling in for overworked closer Joe Borowski, worked the ninth for his first save since Sept. 28 last season.

    In Chicago's fateful eighth, MacDougal threw 25 pitches -- only 7 for strikes.

    "I couldn't throw the ball where I wanted to," he said.

    Buehrle was in line to win for the first time in five starts before his bullpen let him down again. Chicago's bullpen finished August with a 10.05 ERA.

    Two years ago, everything fell into place for the White Sox, who won their first World Series title since 1917. There's a lot of baseball to be played, but the Indians are having a special run of their own.

    "Obviously, it's frustrating," Buehrle said. "But that's the way our season is going and that's the way their season is going.

    The left-hander threw a no-hitter against the Rangers in April and looked like he might flirt with another one. He cruised through Cleveland's lineup the first time, retiring 11 straight before Travis Hafner singled to right with two outs in the fourth.

    Josh Fields had two RBIs for the White Sox, who have dropped 17 of 20.

    Chicago scored three runs in the sixth off Indians starter Fausto Carmona, who hadn't given up four runs or more in any start since June 27.

    Down 5-0, the Indians finally put something together in the sixth off Buehrle, who had limited them to just one hit through five. Franklin Gutierrez singled in Cleveland's first run and the other scored on a fielder's choice by Martinez.

    Game notes


    Home plate umpire John Hirschbeck was struck on the right knee by a foul tip in the sixth inning. Hirschbeck, 52, laid flat on his back for several minutes in obvious pain before being checked by an Indians trainer. He stayed in the game, and in the seventh he was hit by a foul tip on his padded right shoulder. ... Indians 2B Josh Barfield, benched earlier this month for rookie Asdrubal Cabrera, went 1-for-2 in his first start since Aug. 15. Cabrera made a sensational play up the middle to end the game, stabbing a grounder and making a leaping throw to nip A.J. Pierzynski. ... The Indians improved to 35-20 against the AL Central.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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