CLEVELAND (AP) — Michael Brantley homered and drove in three runs, Carlos Santana also homered and the Cleveland Indians broke a six-game losing streak with a 12-5 win over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night.
Cleveland’s struggling offense, which scored 13 runs on an 0-6 road trip, finally broke loose.
Brantley hit a leadoff homer in the fifth and added a two-run single in the sixth. Santana hit a solo homer in the second and had an RBI single in a five-run first, while Ryan Raburn and Yan Gomes each drove in two runs.
Danny Salazar (1-3) was charged with five runs, three earned, in five innings and earned his first win of the season.
Jose Abreu hit his major-league leading 11th homer in the fifth, but the White Sox couldn’t overcome a shaky start by John Danks (2-2), who allowed eight runs in five innings.
The Indians placed All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis on the 15-day disabled list prior to the game with a pulled muscle in his side.
Cleveland pitchers Corey Kluber and Cody Allen wore chicken outfits during batting practice while standing in the outfield in an attempt to help the team out of its funk.
The strategy apparently worked. Santana’s RBI single, Raburn’s two-run double and Gomes’ two-run single highlighted Cleveland’s first inning. The fast start was enough to hold off the hard-hitting White Sox, who lead the AL in runs scored but have lost three in a row.
Abreu struck out against Salazar in his first two at-bats, but homered to left on a 3-2 pitch in the fifth. The rookie sensation also leads the league with 33 RBIs.
Salazar worked out of a bases-loaded, no-outs jam in the fourth. The right-hander struck out six and won for the first time since Sept. 25 of last season, also against Chicago.
Kipnis’ absence hurt the Indians immediately as his replacement, Elliot Johnson, committed two errors. Both of the miscues came on dropped throws on potential force plays. The first came in Chicago’s three-run second inning. The second helped the White Sox load the bases with nobody out in the fourth, but Salazar got out of the inning.
The White Sox scored three times in the second on singles by Alejandro De Aza and Adrian Nieto and a passed ball by Gomes.
Alexei Ramirez, the AL’s leading hitter, was 2 for 4 and is batting .356. Dayan Viciedo, the third-leading hitter in the league, was hitless in three at-bats and is batting .337.
Nieto got his first major league RBI in the second and had a career-high three hits.
Chicago has lost seven straight at Progressive Field last season. The White Sox lost their final 14 games against the Indians in 2013 before taking three of four at home last month.
NOTES: Kipnis is expected to miss three to five weeks. … Adam Eaton left the game with a strained right hamstring in the fourth after hitting into the double play. … White Sox LHP Chris Sale (left flexor strain) played catch before the game, but will not be activated off the 15-day disabled list when he becomes eligible Saturday. The two-time All-Star will play long toss Monday in Chicago. … White Sox RHP Felipe Paulino (right rotator cuff irritation) will make a rehab start Saturday at Triple-A Charlotte. … Indians RHP Justin Masterson (0-1) looks for his first win in his seventh start against RHP Scott Carroll (1-0) Saturday.
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