CHICAGO (AP) - Gordon Beckham has been waiting for his breakout offensive game.
The White Sox second baseman went 3 for 4 and also hit his first homer of the season and had two RBIs to lead the Chicago White Sox to a 7-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday.
Beckham's breakthrough came on a murky night that began with a lengthy rain delay and played under occasional light fog at U.S. Cellular Field.
``(Beckham) swung well, it's part of believing in yourself and keep working at it,' Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. ``He hasn't gone down that path of not believing in himself.
``He's just looked better the last few times he's gone to the plate. ... Now you build off that.'
Left-handed starter Chris Sale (3-1) also had a solid night. He worked six innings, gave up one earned run, walked one and struck out three before left-handed reliever Will Ohman entered in the seventh.
Sale was pleased with the offensive support.
``The way they swung the bats tonight was fun to watch,' he said. ``The funnest part of tonight was watching him (Beckham) completely go off.'
Now hitting .190, Beckham was mired in 0-for-10 slide and was batting just .153 before he belted a solo homer in the third to give Chicago a 2-1 lead. He also singled in a run in the fifth.
A.J. Pierzynski also had a solo homer for Chicago.
Shelley Duncan connected for Cleveland, snapping the team's 11-game homerless streak.
Steady rain postponed the start 56 minutes, but storms had passed through by early evening and the game started under cloudy, but dry conditions.
Beckham sparked a four-run third inning with his leadoff drive on a 3-1 pitch from Ubaldo Jimenez. Paul Konerko made it 3-1 with a bases-loaded walk, Alex Rios drove in a run with a fielder's choice and Dayan Viciedo had an RBI infield single
``We just didn't play good defense, period,' Indians manager Manny Acta said. ``We didn't catch the ball in the air, we didn't catch the ball on the ground, we didn't cover the bases when we had to, plain and simple. We can't afford to play that kind of defense with the offense we have.'
Jimenez (2-2) walked six in 4 2-3 innings, and allowed seven runs, four earned, and eight hits.
Duncan hit a solo drive off Ohman in the seventh. Duncan also doubled and scored on Jason Kipnis' two-out double in the second, giving Cleveland a 1-0 lead.
Pierzynski then hit his fifth homer in the bottom half, driving an 0-2 pitch over the wall in right.
The Indians loaded the bases in the ninth, but Hector Santiago got Lou Marson to ground out to end the game.
Duncan and Kipnis each had two hits for the Indians.
Outfielder Johnny Damon joined the Indians in Chicago on Tuesday and is likely to be in Wednesday's lineup.
``The plan was for him to spend a day with his teammates here, take batting practice and then start the game tomorrow,' Acta said.
The Indians said they had purchased Damon's contract on Tuesday and made roster room by designating infielder Jose Lopez for assignment.
Now in his 18th major league season, Damon has 2,723 hits and a .286 career batting average. He is ranked third among active players in runs scored (1,643).
The 38-year-old Damon, who signed with the Indians last month, has spent the past few weeks at the club's facility in Goodyear, Ariz.
NOTES: Indians RHP Josh Tomlin (1-2, 5.48 ERA) is scheduled to pitch Wednesday's game against Philip Humber (1-1, 4.66 ERA). Humber threw a perfect game on April 21 against Seattle and struggled in a 10-3 loss against Boston last week.
The Associated Press News Service
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