CLEVELAND (AP) — Alex Rios wasn’t seeking revenge against Cleveland closer Chris Perez.
He got it anyway.
Rios tripled home the go-ahead run in the 10th inning and the Chicago White Sox beat the Cleveland Indians 5-3 Tuesday night.
On May 3, Perez retired Rios for the final out of a 7-5 win in Chicago and the excitable closer started pumping his fist and yelling. Rios took exception to it, thinking it was directed at him.
After delivering to help Chicago win for only the second time in eight games, Rios said it was no big deal.
“It was just part of baseball,” Rios said. “I was just trying to hit the ball hard somewhere and it worked out pretty good.”
Perez (0-1) was peeved at losing. Asked if he was surprised by his outing, the normally genial reliever shot back,
“That’s a stupid question. This is baseball. I was never going to give up another run again? Come on.
“It’s baseball. I gave up two hits. We lost, It stinks, especially after we battled back. What are you going to do?”
The right-hander yielded a leadoff single to Paul Konerko, who was replaced by pinch runner Brent Lillibridge. After A.J. Pierzynski fouled out, Rios lined a ball over the head of second baseman Jason Kipnis that rolled all the way to the wall in right-center as Lillibridge easily scored.
“We didn’t say any words today,” Perez said. “I just made a bad pitch and he did what he’s supposed to do – hit it in the gap.”
Rios scored on a fielder’s choice, beating a throw home from Kipnis, who fielded a ground ball hit by Alexei Ramirez.
Hector Santiago (1-1) pitched the ninth for his first career win and Addison Reed worked a perfect 10th for his second save – after new closer Chris Sale blew a 3-0 lead in the eighth.
“These guys didn’t fold,” manager Robin Ventura said. “They battled and did just a great job. That was a well-struck ball by Rios.”
Rios was in a 3 for 18 skid until getting two singles off starter Justin Masterson – and his second career triple off Perez. He also hit a walkoff grand slam off Cleveland’s closer Sept. 10.
Perez allowed only one run over his previous 13 outings.
Carlos Santana’s two-run single off Sale tied it at 3. Until then, Cleveland had been shut out on four hits by John Danks, who bounced back from consecutive poor starts to pitch well.
Danks left after yielding singles to Casey Kotchman and Jack Hannahan to open the eighth. Hannahan’s ball fell just in front of left fielder Dayan Viciedo, who pulled up near the foul line.
Sale got Johnny Damon to hit a slow roller to shortstop Ramirez, who booted it for an error, loading the bases.
Kipnis grounded out to first, scoring Kotchman and Asdrubal Cabrera walked, reloading the bases. Santana then lined a ball right past Sale and into center field to tie it.
It was Sale’s first outing since beating Cleveland 7-2 as a starter May 1. A reliever last year, he went 3-1 in five starts.
“I was mentally and physically ready to go, even though I hadn’t been out there for a while,” Sale said. “I feel bad for Johnny. We rode in together and he was pumped, saying `I’m better than that, I can beat that team.’ I let him down.”
Indians starter Justin Masterson made 27 pitches in the first inning, allowing five hits and falling behind 2-0.
One run scored on a groundout by Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski added an RBI single.
Cleveland put a runner on third with no outs in the seventh, but Danks quickly got out of it.
Masterson struggled to throw strikes, but kept Cleveland in the game. The right-hander allowed six hits and two runs over six innings, walking five.
Pierzynski’s bases-loaded RBI groundout made it 3-0 in the seventh off reliever Dan Wheeler.
NOTES: Ramirez went 0 for 5 and is in a 3 for 24 slump. … Cleveland LHP Nick Hagadone struck out the side in the ninth, one day after earning his first career save. … When Hagadone and Tony Sipp saved both ends of a doubleheader Monday, it was the first time since the save became an official statistic in 1969 that two different Cleveland lefties did it in a twinbill. … In the first game, LHP Jose Quintana worked 5 2-3 scoreless innings, the longest scoreless stretch by a White Sox pitcher in his major-league debut since Jack McDowell’s seven scoreless in 1987.
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