First-place Indians complete sweep

Associated Press  |  Last updated May 08, 2012
Shelley Duncan's RBI double in the eighth inning gave the Cleveland Indians a soggy 3-2 win over the Chicago White Sox on Monday night and a sweep of their day-night doubleheader. Duncan ripped a pitch from left-hander Matt Thornton (1-2) into the left-field corner, scoring Asdrubal Cabrera. The first-place Indians won the opener 8-6. The White Sox have lost six of seven. Cleveland's Josh Tomlin allowed five hits in 7 1/3 innings -- most of the final three in a steady downpour. He struck out a career-high eight, allowed two walks and maintained his control despite slick, slippery conditions on the mound. Joe Smith (2-1) gave up a game-tying single after a lengthy rain delay, but got two outs and was credited with the win after Duncan's single. Tony Sipp worked the ninth for his first save. The Indians are 8-3 in their past 11. Sipp gave up a two-out walk to pinch-hitter Paul Konerko before striking out Tyler Flowers for his second career save -- first since July 23, 2010. Cleveland's Travis Hafner homered and tripled in the opener. He struck out twice in the second game but was hit by a pitch for the 79th time in his career, tying him with Nap Lajoie for the team record. Cabrera opened the eighth with a bloop single off Thornton, and Carlos Santana followed with a flair to almost the exact spot in shallow right-center. After Hafner popped out, Duncan pulled Thornton's pitch down the line to make it 3-2 and give the few hundred fans who stuck around after a lengthy rain delay something to cheer. The White Sox tied it 2-all in the eighth, moments after a 1-hour, 25-minute rain delay, on Alex Rios' RBI single. With the sky darkening and radar showing heavy rain approaching, the Indians scored twice in the fifth to take a 2-1 lead and put Tomlin in position for the win. Tomlin retired the White Sox in order in the sixth and seventh before running into trouble in the eighth as the rain intensified. With one out, he walked Alejandro De Aza and gave up a single to Gordon Beckham before manager Manny Acta decided to pull his right-hander and bring in reliever Dan Wheeler. But as Wheeler neared the mound, crew chief Larry Vanover ordered the groundscrew to cover the infield at 9:09 p.m. The rain delay lasted 85 minutes, and when play resumed, Acta put in side-armer Smith to face Rios, who promptly hit an RBI single to tie it 2-2. The Indians hit some solid line drives off Chicago starter Eric Stults in the first three innings, but had nothing to show for it. They had a scoring chance in the fourth after Stults issued consecutive one-out walks. But he recovered by striking out Hafner and getting Duncan to pop out. Stults wasn't so lucky in the fifth, when a two-out walk to catcher Lou Marson, Cleveland's No. 9 hitter batting just .059, came back to haunt him. Marson then got a great jump and stole second on the next pitch before scoring on Michael Brantley's single. Brantley took second on the throw home and scored on Jason Kipnis' RBI single. The White Sox took a 1-0 lead in the fifth on Brent Morel's RBI groundout. Stults' debut with the White Sox was also his first major league start since Aug. 9, 2009, when he pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He spent 2010 pitching in Japan and made six relief appearances for Colorado last season before signing with Chicago as a free agent. The left-hander was recalled before the game from Triple-A Charlotte, where he went 1-1 with a 3.20 ERA in five starts. NOTES: Per the new collective bargaining agreement, teams are allowed to carry 26 players on their roster for unique doubleheaders. ... The day-night twinbill drew just 19,679 total fans. Despite being in first place, the Indians have the lowest average attendance in the majors. ... Tomlin has given up only 47 walks in 273 career innings. ... Hafner's triple in the opener for Cleveland was his first since 2007, prompting a few good-natured jokes about his blazing speed. ''I'd say I could beat 75 to 80 percent of the guys on the team in a race, if it came down to it,'' he quipped.
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