Indians Rally, Then Lose In Matter Of Moments
Grady Sizemore triples.
Grady Sizemore triples.
Indians Ink
Posted Sep 8, 2006


The Indians and Chicago White Sox both experienced glorious highs and depressing lows all at the same time Friday night. Once again, the defending World Series champion White Sox got the last laugh with a 7-6 victory on A.J. Pierzynski's two-run homer. That came scant moments after Cleveland hit four doubles in a seven-pitch span to score three runs and take a 6-5 lead in the top of the ninth.

A.J. Pierzynski and the Chicago White Sox celebrate his two-run walkoff homer to beat Cleveland, 7-6.The White Sox wore green hats and green numbers on their uniforms as part of a "Halfway To St. Patrick's Day" promotion and celebrated like it was a wild holiday. By winning for only the third time in their last nine games, they remained a half-game behind Minnesota in the AL wild-card race and got within 4 1/2 games of first-place Detroit in the AL Central.

"We always seem to have these kind of ballgames with Chicago," Indians manager Eric Wedge told reporters.

Rookie Tom Mastny (0-1) failed for the first time in six save opportunities. The right-hander yielded a leadoff single to open the bottom of the ninth by Paul Konerko -- the fourth straight hit for Chicago's first baseman.

Pierzynski then missed a bunt attempt, swung and missed, fouled off a pitch -- and hit the next one over the wall in right-center for his 14th homer and the win.

Grady Sizemore, Victor Martinez and Andy Marte led the Indians offense, which for the seventh straight game was without leading power source Travis Hafner. The Indians' DH has not played since suffering a severely bruised right hand when hit by a pitch a week ago in Texas.

Sizemore had a single, double, triple, three stolen bases and scored three runs, twice being driven home by Martinez. Marte had two hits, two runs and one RBI.

Pinch-hitter Casey Blake hit the first of four straight doubles on only nine pitches by Chicago closer Bobby Jenks to start the Cleveland ninth.

Marte followed with an RBI double and scored on a bloop double by Sizemore to tie it, 5-5.

Jason Michaels then poked a double to right to score Sizemore.

Matt Thornton (5-2) came on and walked Martinez, but got Ryan Garko to hit into a double play and struck out Shin-Soo Choo. The lefty was rewarded for his good work by getting the win when the White Sox rallied.

"Our guys did a great job," Wedge said of the rally. "It's tough to score one against a closer like Jenks, but we scored three and took the lead. It slipped away from us at the end, but that doesn't take away the effort these guys to get back into the game and take the lead."

Cleveland starter Paul Byrd allowed four runs over 5 1/3 innings. Rookie Rafael Perez walked the only batter he faced, right-hander Brian Sikorski gave up a hit and got a strikeout in one-third of an inning, then lefty Juan Lara allowed one hit and one unearned run over 1 1/3 innings before Mastny came on.

Sizemore's triple was his 10th of the season, giving him double digits in doubles, triples, homers and stolen bases for the second straight season. He also has 22 steals, 23 homers and 50 doubles. He leads the AL in runs (119) and extra-base hits (83).



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