CHICAGO – The Cleveland Indians had some fun with Asdrubal Cabrera after the All-Star shortstop bruised his left wrist when he fell down the steps on his way to the dugout in Houston over the weekend.
This time, Cabrera had some fun at the expense of the sloppy White Sox.
Cabrera hit a clutch two-run single in his return to the lineup and the Indians used a throwing error by reliever Matt Thornton to rally for a 3-2 victory over the Sox on Monday night.
“I love those situations,” Cabrera said.
Justin Masterson (4-1) pitched seven effective innings to help the Indians to their third consecutive win after a five-game losing streak. They have won three of four this season against the Sox.
“It was nice to win a ballgame. We’ve got some big home runs, but to group together some singles, that was huge,” manager Terry Francona said.
Cleveland had runners on first and second with one out in the eighth when Thornton (0-1) threw wildly to second while trying to pick off Drew Stubbs. Both runners moved up as the ball went into center field.
“It was a set play, spun and threw it between Stubbs’ legs. No chance for us to get that ball,” Thornton said. “So, I gave the game away.”
Jason Kipnis struck out for the second out, but Cabrera hit a liner to center to give Cleveland a 3-2 lead. He clapped his hands as he rounded first following the big hit.
Dylan Axelrod pitched six sparkling innings for the Sox, and Conor Gillaspie had a solo homer. Hector Gimenez hit a tiebreaking double in the fourth, but left in the seventh after he was hit on his lower left leg by a pitch from Masterson.
“I think it’s going to be OK,” Gimenez said. “Let’s see how I feel tomorrow. I’ll be here early and just be ready.”
The slumping Sox have lost four straight and 10 of 13. They managed just five hits and Blake Tekotte, who came in to run for Gimenez, was picked off second by catcher Carlos Santana with two on and none out.
“You just keep shooting yourself in the foot,” manager Robin Ventura said. “You give major league teams opportunities and they’re going to take advantage of them. And until we clean it up, we’re going to lose games. It’s just that simple. It’s not hard to figure out.”
Cabrera went 1 for 4 in his first game since he had the unfortunate tumble in Houston on Saturday. He rested while the Indians beat the Astros 5-4 on Sunday, but that didn’t stop his teammates from making a tape outline of a body with Cabrera’s No. 13 on it on the stairs where he fell.
Cabrera took it in stride, laughing and taking pictures of their handiwork. He is off to a slow start and remains in search of his first multihit game, but no one seems all that concerned.
“Maybe this is the start hopefully of him getting hot,” said Francona, who celebrated his 54th birthday, “because he’s going to get really hot at some point.”
Masterson walked four, but managed to hold the White Sox to two runs and four hits. The right-hander also tossed a five-hitter in a 1-0 victory over the Sox on April 12.
“The boys played great defense,” he said. “Again, Santana was exceptional, especially making that play at second base.”
Vinnie Pestano worked a perfect eighth and Chris Perez pitched around a one-out single while earning his third save in four opportunities.
Gillaspie led off the second with a drive to right for his first homer since he was acquired in a February trade with San Francisco. Then he played a role in the Sox’ second run when he walked with one out in the fourth.
Gillaspie was erased when Alexei Ramirez bounced into a fielder’s choice, but Gimenez followed with a double to deep left-center to give the Sox a 2-1 lead. Masterson then struck out Jordan Danks for the second time to limit the damage.
Axelrod allowed one run and three hits, struck out four and walked two.
NOTES: The Indians announced RHP Brett Myers was diagnosed with right elbow tendinitis and a mild ulnar collateral ligament sprain. He will stop throwing for two weeks and then be evaluated again. ... Cleveland RHP Matt Albers was activated from the restricted list and RHP Fernando Nieve was designated for assignment. Albers had been dealing with a family issue. ... Sox LHP John Danks is going to make another start in extended spring training on Friday. Danks is coming back from August surgery to repair a capsule tear and remove debris in his rotator cuff and biceps. ... Indians C Lou Marson (neck strain) will rejoin the team on Tuesday and be activated on Wednesday. Yan Gomes was promoted on the same day Marson went on the DL, and Francona indicated the young catcher is probably headed back to the minors. ... Sox LHP Jose Quintana (1-0, 2.55 ERA) will face RHP Zach McAllister (1-2, 3.12) on Tuesday.