CLEVELAND (AP) — Chris Perez hasn’t had a bad outing very often this season.
The Cleveland Indians’ closer had one Tuesday night. Perez gave up two runs in the 10th inning in a 5-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox.
The defeat snapped the Indians’ three-game winning streak and was their second loss in the last eight games.
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Held scoreless by Chicago starter John Danks for seven innings, Cleveland tied the game with a three-run eighth. Jason Kipnis’ RBI groundout and a two-run single by Carlos Santana knotted the game at 3 with one out, but the Indians couldn’t push across the go-ahead run and left two runners stranded. Cleveland also stranded two in the ninth.
Since allowing three runs in the ninth inning and blowing a save on opening day, Perez has been among the best relievers in baseball. He had allowed one run in 13 innings and converted 11 straight save chances going into Tuesday.
Asked if he was surprised about his outing, Perez said, “That’s a stupid question. This is baseball. I was never going to give up another run again? Come on.”
Perez (0-1) yielded a leadoff single to Paul Konerko, who was replaced by pinch runner Brent Lillibridge. After A.J. Pierzynski fouled out, Alex 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.
Rios scored on a fielder’s choice, beating the throw home from Kipnis, who fielded a ground ball hit by Alexei Ramirez.
“I gave up two hits,” Perez said. “We lost. It stinks, especially after we battled back. What are you going to do?”
Since the game was in extra innings, there was no save opportunity for the home team, but Acta didn’t want to finish the game without using his best reliever.
“You can’t let other team beat you with your seventh guy out of the bullpen,” Acta said. “It will get noticed when he doesn’t get it done, but you have to do it. He’s not going to be perfect the rest of the way. We know that.”
Perez takes the same approach whether he’s in a save situation or a tie game.
“You have to get three outs,” he said. “There’s less room for error if the game is tied. That’s the only difference.”
Perez recorded a save in Chicago last week when he retired Rios to end the game. As he usually does after getting a save, Perez let out a yell, which Rios thought was directed at him. The two shouted at each other as the teams left the field.
“That’s part of the game there,” Perez said. “This is totally different. We didn’t say any words today. I just made a bad pitch and he did what he’s supposed to do — hit it in the gap.”
“It was just part of baseball,” Rios said of the May 3 incident. “Tonight, I was just trying to hit the ball hard somewhere and it worked out pretty good.”
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.
Hector Santiago (1-1) pitched the ninth for his first career win and Addison Reed worked a perfect 10th for his second save as Chicago won for the second time in eight games.
Danks held the Indians to four hits in seven innings, but was yanked 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 came on and 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 inches from Sale’s shoulder and into center field to tie it.
“We made a great comeback,” Acta said. “We just couldn’t finish the deal.”
Indians starter Justin Masterson made 27 pitches in the first inning, allowing five hits and falling behind 2-0. Masterson kept Cleveland in the game. The right-hander allowed six hits and two runs over six innings, walking five. He twice got out of jams by getting the White Sox to bounce into double plays, both started by third baseman Hannahan.
“The double plays were good,” Masterson said. “You have to be able to work through (jams).”
Pierzynski made it 3-0 in the seventh with an RBI groundout.
NOTES: 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. … Indians DH Travis Hafner, hitting .161 this year against lefties, got most of the night off against Danks. Hafner struck out as a pinch hitter for the final out.