ChiSox add to free-falling Indians' woes
Gavin Floyd made 95 pitches, some good ones, some bad ones. However, the strike he threw to first mattered most.
Floyd shut out Cleveland on five singles over 7 2-3 innings and made a smart defensive play to escape a bases-loaded jam in the seventh as the surging Chicago White Sox climbed back to .500 with a 6-3 win Monday night over the free-falling Indians, who lost for the 11th time in 13 games.
Floyd (6-5), who started the season by losing four of his first six decisions, improved to 3-0 in June, 4-1 since May 22 and has a 1.39 ERA in his last eight starts. The right-hander walked two, struck out five and made the game's biggest defensive play while protecting a 2-0 lead.
"Outstanding," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said of Floyd. "That's a pretty good hitting ballclub and to shut them down was a tremendous job. The last three or four starts he has been great."
In the seventh, the Indians loaded the bases off Floyd on a single sandwiched by two walks. Ryan Garko then hit a tapper toward first that danced along the white-chalk line. Floyd hustled off the mound, scooped it and fired to first in time to retire Garko.
However, plate umpire Scott Barry, recently called up from the minors, ruled it was foul, prompting Guillen to come out and complain. The umpiring crew then met for several moments near first before calling Garko out. That set off Indians manager Eric Wedge, who stormed from the dugout and was quickly ejected by crew chief Tom Hallion.
"They're supposed to huddle if they've got a question about it," an irritated Wedge said. "I thought the home plate umpire did his job. He had a good view of it, made the call and they reversed it. They shouldn't have reversed it. Bases loaded, 2-0 game, seventh inning ... ridiculous."
Floyd wasn't certain what to do when he first went after the ball. He was worried if he let Garko get too far past him, he wold have a tougher throw.
"I knew I had to pick it up and threw it," he said. "I took the gamble, picked it up and threw him out. I thought it was on the line. It all worked out."
Garko was more upset with his swing than the controversial call.
"I'm sure they got it right, whatever," he said. "Those guys usually get it right. You don't want to put it in the umpires' hands. That's not a very good swing in that spot. I would just really like to come through right there and it just didn't go my way."
Floyd was lifted in the eighth by Guillen with a runner on and Grady Sizemore coming up. Thornton came on and got Sizemore to swing at his first pitch and lift a harmless fly out to left.
Jermaine Dye and Gordon Beckham had RBI singles off Carl Pavano (6-7) as the White Sox won for the 10th time in 14 games.
The last-place Indians have dropped three straight and only avoided their fifth shutout with a three-run ninth as Shin Soo-Choo homered off Matt Thornton and Garko hit a two-run, two-out shot off Octavio Dotel.
Newly acquired reliever Chris Perez melted down in his Cleveland debut. He hit the first two batters he faced, walked the bases loaded and then cleared them as Chicago scored four runs in the ninth on a fielder's choice, an RBI double, wild pitch and run-scoring single.
"Obviously, not the best first impression," said Perez, who also failed to cover first on a potential double play. "Hopefully, the next time will be better. I had a mental lapse and it snowballed from there."
The White Sox got a scare in the ninth when shortstop Alexei Ramirez was beaned by Perez. Ramirez dropped after being struck on the helmet by the right-hander's fastball. Ramirez was checked by a White Sox trainer before being assisted from the field.
Perez then hit Dye, not exactly the production the Indians were looking for after trading third baseman Mark DeRosa to St. Louis on Saturday.
Ramirez gave a thumbs up that he was fine and expects to play Tuesday. Guillen said Dye is also OK.
The White Sox jumped on Pavano for a run in the first on Dye's RBI single and made it 2-0 in the second on Beckham's run-scoring single.
"It took me a little while to find it and gave them those couple of runs," Pavano said. "That was enough for Gavin. You've got to tip your hat sometimes to the opposing pitcher. He handled a tough lineup and made it look easy."
The Indians are 2-28 when scoring three or fewer runs. ... For the first time in six games, the White Sox did not make an error. They came in on a sloppy slide, having made 17 errors in their previous 11 games. ... White Sox DH Jim Thome earned his 1,599th walk in the ninth, tying him with Hall of Famer Stan Musial for 12th place on the career list.