CHICAGO (AP) -White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen is happy his team got a big hit to avoid a sweep at home. Now he is hoping to get his ace back on track.
Carlos Quentin hit a go-ahead two-run single in the seventh inning to lead the White Sox to a 8-7 comeback victory over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.
Paul Konerko hit a two-run homer, his 17th of the season, and Alex Rios was 2 for 3 with three runs scored for the White Sox, who came back from an early 6-2 deficit to improve to 2-4 on a nine-game homestand.
The White Sox also got Mark Buehrle off the hook after he had another rough outing.
J.J. Putz (1-2) struck out two in a scoreless seventh to get the win, and Bobby Jenks pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth save in 10 chances.
With the score tied at six in the seventh, Juan Pierre led off with a single off Indians reliever Tony Sipp (0-2). Sipp was lifted after a sacrifice bunt by Omar Vizquel.
Indians reliever Jensen Lewis came in and walked Rios and Konerko to load the bases. Indians manager Manny Acta brought in left-hander Rafael Perez, who got Mark Kotsay to fly out to shallow center field. Then with two outs, Quentin hit Perez's 0-2 pitch up the middle to score Pierre and Rios and give the White Sox an 8-6 lead.
``That's what a good team does. Kotsay couldn't do it. Then Quentin picked it up with two outs. That's what we've been missing all year long, those kind of at_bats. That's the reason why we haven't produced the way we can because we did not have the big hits, but today we did,' Guillen said.
Buehrle allowed six runs over three innings on eight hits. He left after throwing 95 pitches. Since last season's perfect game against Tampa Bay, the left-hander has given up five or more runs in 12 of 25 outings.
``Buehrle is type of guy you're going to kill him or he's going to get you out,' Guillen said. ``He will be the same guy no matter if he has a great game. I have never seen Buehrle change even if he throws a perfect game or his worst game he's the same guy and I respect that.'
Lou Marson hit a three-run homer and Austin Kearns had three hits for the Indians.
After winning the first two games of the series, the Indians failed to complete their first three-game road sweep over the White Sox in 11 years.
``I'm disappointed that we couldn't win the ball game and end up with a .500 road trip. We started off great scoring six runs off their No. 1 guy, chasing him out of there after the third inning,' Acta said.
With an early 6-2 lead, Indians starter Jake Westbrook was on his way to his first decision in nine starts against the White Sox, but he couldn't hold the lead. Westbrook gave up a double to Rios in the fourth inning, and Rios' scored on Quentin's single.
Alexei Ramirez and Gordon Beckham hit back-to-back singles off Westbrook in the fifth. Ramirez scored on Vizquel's sacrifice fly, and Rios followed with a RBI single. After a walk to Konerko, Kotsay followed with a RBI single to tie it 6-6.
The White Sox won for only the fourth time in 12 games against the Indians this season.
White Sox reliever Matt Thornton allowed a double off the left-field wall to Kearns in the eighth and Jhonny Peralta drove him in on a single.
Westbrook pitched 4 2-3 innings and gave up six runs and seven hits.
``I lost this ball game today. Six runs is a lot. I need to do a better job shutting it down, keeping the score what it was. I didn't do my job today. I'm the reason we lost this game today. I don't care what anybody else tells you. That's how I feel and that's the way it is,' Westbrook said.
Buehrle struggled for the second straight outing. With one out in the first inning, Buehrle allowed a single to Shin-Soo Choo, a double to Kearns and a two-run single to Peralta. Shelley Duncan followed with a double to right-center to score Peralta from first.
Buehrle is having trouble commanding all of his pitches.
``Everything, my last two starts, the fastball away is cutting back down the middle, I'm not throwing sinkers down the plate, they're balls and I'm falling behind the count. There really hasn't been much working for me the last two starts,' Buehrle said.
After getting the first two outs in the third inning, Buehrle walked Luis Valbuena and allowed a single to Matt LaPorta. Marson then broke out of an 0 for 18 slump with a three-run shot to make it 6-2. It was his first home run since Sept. 28, 2008, with Philadelphia.
NOTES: Acta said there has been no greater influence in his coaching career than John Wooden. ``Be patient, work hard, and control your emotions. I'm a big believer in that,' Acta said. ``Everything I do is following his lead on how to lead people and how to try to get guys to approach a team-first mentality.' ... Indians 2B Mark Grudzielanek left the game with tightness in the right hamstring. ... Cleveland's last three-game sweep of the White Sox in Chicago came on May 15-17, 1999.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved