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Chris Sale Posts First Major League Save In Sox Win

Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – Paul Konerko hit a three-run homer as part of a four-run eighth inning, as the Chicago White Sox completed a three-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians with a 6-4 win at Progressive Field.

Alex Rios and Alexei Ramirez each clubbed a solo shot for the White Sox, who have won five of seven and moved to within 3 1/2 games of Minnesota, which sits atop the American League Central Division. The Twins host Detroit on Wednesday.

Chicago starter Freddy Garcia left after four innings with a stiff lower back. The veteran righty allowed two runs — one earned — on four hits, walked one and struck out two. Tony Pena (4-2) spelled Garcia and allowed two runs — one earned — and five hits in three innings, but still picked up the win. Despite walking two in the bottom of the ninth, Chris Sale picked up his first big league save.

Manny Ramirez, making his much-anticipated White Sox debut, singled and was hit by a pitch in four plate appearances while batting fifth in the designated hitter’s role. The slugger was officially acquired in a waiver claim from the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier this week.

Asdrubal Cabrera had an RBI single and Jordan Brown — recalled from Triple-A Columbus before the game — also knocked in a run with a single for Cleveland, which has lost four straight.

Indians starter Carlos Carrasco, making his first big league start of the 2010 campaign, took a tough no-decision after yielding three runs on six hits over 7 1/3 innings. The right-hander, who was promoted from Columbus earlier on Wednesday, struck out four and walked one. He was acquired from Philadelphia last year as part of the Cliff Lee deal and went 0-4 with an 8.87 ERA in five starts in 2009.

Trailing 4-1, the White Sox exploded for four runs in the eighth to go in front. Alexei Ramirez started the inning with a one-out solo homer and Juan Pierre followed with a walk that ended Carrasco’s outing. Rafael Perez entered and retired pinch-hitter Carlos Quentin before giving way to Justin Germano (0-1), who proceeded to walk Rios before Konerko hit a three-run homer to left that put Chicago up 5-4. Manny Ramirez was hit by a pitch and was lifted for pinch-runner Alejandro De Aza, who was thrown out trying to steal second.

Alexei Ramirez’s sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth off Jensen Lewis gave the White Sox a two-run cushion. Lewis was also promoted from Columbus on Wednesday.

In the home ninth Sale came on and struck out the leadoff hitter, then walked Chris Gimenez and Michael Brantley. Cabrera grounded into a fielder’s choice and Sale slammed the door by striking out the dangerous Shin Soo Choo.

Rios gave the White Sox a quick lead when his first-inning solo shot just cleared the left-field wall. Then in the second, Manny Ramirez led off and grounded out to short in his first at-bat with his new club.

The Indians pulled even in the third on Cabrera’s single to right. Chicago went quietly in the fourth with Manny Ramirez taking a called third strike to end the frame.

Brown’s run-scoring single in the fourth gave the hosts a 2-1 lead.

Pena took over for Garcia in the fifth and the Indians put up two more. Gimenez started the inning with a double and moved to third on Brantley’s base hit. Cabrera bounced into a double play that chased in a run, then later in the inning, Choo, who doubled after Cabrera’s twin-killing, scored on an error by Alexei Ramirez to make it 4-1.

Manny Ramirez led off the seventh with a single — his first hit with the White Sox — but was erased when Mark Teahen grounded into a double play.

Game Notes

Prior to the game, the White Sox promoted outfielder De Aza and catcher Tyler Flowers from Triple-A Charlotte, purchased the contract of right-handed pitcher Gregory Infante from Double-A Birmingham and designated right-hander Clevelan Santeliz for assignment…The Indians went 3-6 on a nine-game homestand, but despite the series sweep are still 8-7 against the White Sox this season.