Scoring runs was no trouble for the White Sox as they opened their 2011 season against the Cleveland Indians. Sunday, as the Southsiders were going for a sweep, sending players across home plate was scarce. Chicago’s only run was scored when Paul Konerko singled in the third to send Omar Vizquel across the plate.
Orlando Cabrera hit a two-run homer and assisted in the majors’ first triple play of the season, helping the Cleveland Indians beat the Chicago White Sox 7-1 on Sunday for their first victory.
Cabrera connected in the sixth inning off John Danks (0-1), putting Cleveland ahead 2-1 and helping the Indians avoid a three-game sweep.
In the fourth, Carlos Santana began a triple play in his first major league game at first base. Santana, normally a catcher, made a diving catch of a popped bunt by Alexei Ramirez with two runners in motion. He threw to first to double off A.J. Pierzynski. Second baseman Orlando Cabrera took the throw and tossed to shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera to catch Carlos Quentin off second base.
It was Cleveland’s first triple play since Asdrubal Cabrera‘s unassisted one against Toronto on May 12, 2008. Chicago had not hit into a triple play since April 22, 1978, at Toronto.
Indians starter Justin Masterson (1-0) allowed seven hits and one run over seven innings. Two of the hits were singles by former Cleveland star shortstop Omar Vizquel, giving him 2,801 for his career.
Masterson recorded 17 outs on ground balls. The right-hander walked two and did not strike out a batter.
The attendance of 8,726 was the lowest for a game at Progressive Field, which opened in 1994. It was 1,127 fewer than the previous low on Saturday.
Paul Konerko hit an RBI single in the third inning for Chicago.
Cabrera’s homer, his first since signing with Cleveland as a free agent this winter, gave the Indians their first lead of the season. Cleveland fell behind 14-0 on Friday before falling 15-10, then lost 8-3 on Saturday.
Lou Marson added an RBI double and Asdrubal Cabrera had a sacrifice fly in the seventh off Will Ohman.
Shelley Duncan’s two-run single as a pinch hitter against Matt Thornton made it 6-1 in the eighth. Michael Brantley then added another sacrifice fly.
Danks struck out eight in six effective innings, yielding two runs and six hits with one walk.
NOTES: Cleveland released minor league OF Preston Mattingly, son of Dodgers manager and former Yankees star Don Mattingly. … Danks had visited a dentist on Saturday with a root canal problem, but insisted on starting. … Indians OF Grady Sizemore (left knee surgery in June) and RHP Joe Smith (abdominal strain) are on the disabled list, but will play in an exhibition game Monday in Akron between two Cleveland farm teams. … Chicago has scored 20 of its 24 runs in the first four innings this year.
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