White Sox staff struggles in loss to Indians
CHICAGO – Manager Robin Ventura used four relievers Saturday, and none of them did very well. Throw in another shaky start for Felipe Paulino, and the high-scoring Sox just couldn't keep up with the Indians.
Adam Eaton hit his first homer for the Sox, but Cleveland scored six times against a beleaguered bullpen in a 12-6 victory.
"Lately we've been having to have guys go two innings. You just can't keep up that kind of pace," Ventura said. "Guys have to go deeper into a game. Colorado is one thing, then coming back and being in another place is another."
Donnie Murphy, Nick Swisher and Jason Kipnis homered for Cleveland, which snapped a three-game losing streak. Murphy added a bases-loaded triple in a four-run ninth against Donnie Veal.
The Indians improved to 18-4 against the Sox since the beginning of last season, overcoming another shaky start by Justin Masterson. They will try for a split of the four-game series Sunday.
"It was a long day of good at-bats and we needed them," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said.
Eaton had two hits and walked twice for the Sox, who have scored five or more runs in nine of their 12 games this season. Adam Dunn had a two-run single and Alexei Ramirez extended his hitting streak to 13 games dating to last season.
"We're going up there with an approach and trying to execute the approach," Eaton said. "It will come around and we'll be just fine. I love seeing the fight."
Ramirez's nifty slide past catcher Carlos Santana tied it at 6 in the fifth, but Ryan Raburn put the Indians ahead to stay with a two-run single in the seventh.
The Indians loaded the bases with one out against Ronald Belisario (1-1) and Scott Downs. Daniel Webb came in and got Asdrubal Cabrera to foul out, but Raburn followed with a bouncer into center field to make it 8-6.
"They got a chance to wiggle out of that with a tie game at home and Raburn smacks that ball up the middle and gives us the lead," Francona said. "That was huge."
Belisario was charged with two runs and two hits in 1 1-3 innings. Veal allowed four runs in 1 2/3 innings as the Sox's bullpen ERA increased to an unseemly 7.53 for the season.
"You can't have guys coming in the fifth inning. It's just not a recipe that's going to make guys last out there, so it has to be better," Ventura said.
Raburn's big hit handed a win to Josh Outman, one of four relievers who shut down the Sox after Masterson labored through 4 2-3 innings. Outman (2-0), Bryan Shaw, Cody Allen and John Axford combined for 4 1-3 innings of one-hit ball.
Masterson was charged with six runs, five earned, and seven hits in his first start since he lasted just 3 2/3 innings against Minnesota last Sunday. The right-hander also walked five to go along with seven strikeouts.
"I was decently happy with the way things took place as far as how I felt when I let go of the ball," Masterson said. "Sometimes after letting go of the ball, the things I can't control, they got me a little bit."
Masterson dominated the Sox last year, going 4-0 with a sparkling 0.83 ERA in 32 2/3 innings.
Paulino also had a rough start, allowing six runs and six hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out three.
"I've been fighting a lot executing my pitches (the) last couple of games," Paulino said. "My slider comes sometimes, but I'm looking for consistency."
NOTES: Sox RHP Nate Jones is feeling better after receiving an epidural for his ailing back. But the reliever said there is no timetable for his return. "I just want to feel 100 percent before I come back," he said. ... Indians RHP Corey Kluber (1-1, 7.71 ERA) and White Sox LHP Jose Quintana (1-0, 2.77) square off in the series finale. ... White Sox 2B Gordon Beckham (strained left oblique) is taking grounders and batting practice. He was shut down after one game on a minor league rehab assignment with Double-A Birmingham, still feeling tenderness when he swings.