White Sox 8, Dodgers 3
The weather is heating up, and so are the Chicago White Sox.
Alexei Ramirez homered and drove in a career-high five runs, and the suddenly surging White Sox beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-3 Sunday on an 80-degree day in Chicago.
''It feels just like it's in Cuba. So it's just like down there, you just come out and play,'' Ramirez said through a translator.
Ramirez hit a two-run homer in the first inning, then added an RBI double in the third, a run-scoring single in the fourth and another RBI double in the eighth. His second double was headed for the fence but was cut off by right fielder Tony Gwynn Jr., keeping Ramirez from the triple he needed for his first career cycle.
''I definitely was hoping it was (a triple),'' Ramirez said. ''I was kind of thinking in my head, hoping he wouldn't cut it off. He ended up cutting it off and that's when I knew it wouldn't be a triple.''
Ramirez's day was just part of the good news for the White Sox, who have won 11 of 15. After taking two of three games against the Dodgers, Chicago is 5-0-1 in its last six series.
The White Sox embark on a three-city road trip beginning Monday in Texas.
''It's starting to go our way,'' Gordon Beckham said. ''I don't really know how to describe it, but we definitely have a little momentum and we feel good about where we're at.''
Edwin Jackson (4-5) improved to 2-2 with a 2.84 ERA at home this season. He went 5 2-3 innings, allowing one run and five hits while walking two and striking out seven.
''It definitely would have been nice to finish the sixth and have a chance to get a quality start,'' Jackson said.
Ramirez also matched a career best with four hits, the sixth time he's reached that mark. He's driven in five runs three times, most recently against Florida on May 21 last season.
Juan Pierre added three hits for Chicago, which had at least 10 for the fourth straight game.
''Alexei had a huge day. That's an unbelievable day by him and that really got us going. We never really looked back,'' Beckham said.
Matt Thornton pitched two innings for his second save.
The beleaguered Dodgers, who have lost seven of nine, got four hits from rookie Jerry Sands. But All-Star outfielder Andre Ethier left moments after crashing into the fence while chasing Pierre's fourth-inning double.
The Dodgers announced that Ethier had a bruised left elbow, a bruised lower back and a sprained left big toe.
''It wasn't one part, just all parts. I had trouble the first 20 or 30 seconds after, taking inventory of what happened, checking, feeling,'' Ethier said. ''There aren't any particular concerns for me. Just wake up tomorrow morning and see what happens.''
Making matters worse, catcher Rod Barajas was replaced by pinch-hitter Dioner Navarro in the fifth. Barajas sprained his right wrist. X-rays on both injured players were negative.
''Andre hit the fence pretty good there,'' manager Don Mattingly said. ''We'll just see how he wakes up. ... I'm sure he'll feel like he was in a car wreck. Rod, we'll see.''
Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda entered on a roll, with 14 2-3 consecutive scoreless innings over his last two starts. But the White Sox jumped on him early, scoring three runs in the first.
''Just like hitting being contagious, (pitching) can get a little contagious, too,'' Mattingly said. ''Obviously we can't afford that, but I think we'll be fine going forward.''
Kuroda (5-4) went 5 2-3 innings, allowing nine hits and six runs - four earned.
''Since the beginning, I didn't have my slider today, so I was mis-locating my pitches,'' Kuroda said through a translator. ''That was probably the problem.''
On the bright side, the Dodgers activated Rafael Furcal from the 15-day disabled list after he missed 37 games because of a broken left thumb. Furcal started at shortstop and led off, but went 0 for 5 with three strikeouts and a throwing error that led to two unearned runs.
''Everything's good,'' he said. ''It's the best thing that can happen. I was a little bit too excited to play. It's a long season.''
James Loney committed a baserunning mistake in the second, getting doubled off first base on a pop fly to short right field.
The Dodgers scored twice in the seventh, loading the bases with none out against reliever Chris Sale. Jesse Crain came on and walked in a run and allowed a run-scoring fielder's choice, but escaped the inning with a three-run lead intact.
Thornton threw the last two innings for Chicago, earning his second save since being removed from the closer role. He blew four straight save chances earlier this season.
NOTES: White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin was held out of the lineup for the second straight day because of a bruised left knee, though he was available for pinch-hitting duty. Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said he expects Quentin to be available when the White Sox begin their road trip Monday. ... To make room for Furcal on the 25-man roster, the Dodgers placed infielder Juan Uribe on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained left hip flexor, retroactive to Friday. ... Chicago's Adam Dunn, who entered in a 2-for-26 slump that dropped his average to .190, drew three walks and hit an RBI single in the eighth. Dunn walked against lefty reliever Scott Elbert in the sixth. Dunn is 0 for 30 against left-handers this season.