CHICAGO (AP) — The 47-minute top of fifth inning Thursday night epitomized a dismal season for the Chicago White Sox.
Ryan Raburn went 3 for 3 with a homer and five RBIs, and the Cleveland Indians routed the White Sox 14-3 to remain 1 1-2 games out of the second AL wild-card spot.
The Indians blew the game open with a seven-run, rain-delayed fifth inning, when their first nine batters reached base. The nightmare inning for the White Sox included a 17-minute rain delay.
Charlie Leesman, who relieved struggling Chicago starter John Danks (4-13), faced seven hitters, all of whom scored in the fifth.
“Not good. Yeah. Today all the way around wasn’t good and it wasn’t a good game to sit through, watch, anything,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said in a brief postgame news conference.
The White Sox fell 30 games below .500.
Nick Swisher had a solo homer and three RBIs, and Asdrubal Cabrera added a solo shot to support starter Corey Kluber (9-5), who won his second straight start after missing a month with a sprained right middle finger. The right-hander gave up two runs and six hits in five innings.
Relievers Josh Tomlin, Vinnie Pestano and Preston Guilmet worked the next four innings, allowing one unearned run.
Danks lasted four innings and allowed seven runs, nine hits and three walks in his third straight loss.
Danks was unable to adjust with his changeup not working.
“I’ll tell you what, if I had a reason I would’ve fixed it,” Danks said. “I just couldn’t do what I wanted to do. Nothing worked. I threw the ball over where I wasn’t supposed to throw it. It’s embarrassing. This is supposed to be the major leagues and I went out there and pitched like that. I didn’t belong tonight.”
Chicago reliever Dylan Axelrod pitched five innings to close the game, allowing no runs and four hits.
In Danks’ last three outings, the left-hander has given up 17 runs in 14 1-3 innings.
“I had trouble with everything. Nothing was good,” Danks said. “Obviously the changeup is a big pitch for me. When that is not good I need to be able to fall back on the cutter, curveball and those weren’t good either. I don’t know what else to tell you all.
“I am embarrassed about how it went. I feel bad for these guys that they had to stand out there and watch me do what I did.”
Paul Konerko hit a solo homer for the White Sox, who are in last place in the AL Central and have lost 11 of 13.
Cleveland’s Jason Kipnis went 2 for 2 with two RBIs as the Indians began a seven-game trip with a victory that improved them to 78-68. Tampa Bay, at 79-66, is in the second wild-card slot. Cleveland closed within six games of idle Detroit in the AL Central.
Swisher, who sat out Wednesday’s loss to Kansas City, hit his 18th homer with one out to open the scoring.
“I will do my best to forget it, but it was that bad that it will be hard to not lose any sleep tonight,” Danks said.
After Kipnis singled and Carlos Santana walked, Raburn’s line shot to left barely cleared the fence for his 16th homer that made it 4-0. After Kipnis drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth to extend Cleveland’s lead to 7-2, the Indians ran away with seven runs in the fifth.
“We got to win guys, that’s the bottom line. We’ve got to win ballgames. We put ourselves in great position and the one thing we’re stressing in here is these years don’t come around every year. There’s not a guarantee that you’re going to be fighting for a playoff spot every year,” Swisher said.
NOTES: Injured Indians ace Justin Masterson (14-10) may have a chance to rejoin the team before the season ends, according to Francona. The right-hander, who leads Cleveland in wins, left a Sept. 2 game against Baltimore in the second inning with a strained left oblique muscle. He played catch up to 90 feet on Wednesday. “He had no issues and we’ll just continue that progression,” Francona said. “He did well. It’s going to depend on how quickly he comes back.” … Swisher and Cabrera were back in the starting lineup after being held out Wednesday. Cabrera entered Thursday’s game in a 3-for-27 slump. … White Sox rookie INF Marcus Semien got his fourth career start and second straight at 3B after Conor Gillaspie made three errors on Tuesday. Semien doubled for his first extra-base hit and scored his first run. … Cleveland RHP Danny Salazar (1-2) is scheduled to face Chicago LHP Hector Santiago (4-8) in the second game of the four-game series on Friday.
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