for this game

Blake's big hit lifts Indians past White Sox

Apr 1, 2008 - 12:25 AM By Todd Krepop PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- All that was missing was the snow.

Casey Blake hit a go-ahead three-run double in the eighth inning as the Cleveland Indians defeated the Chicago White Sox, 10-8, on Monday in what turned out to be a wild Opening Day contest.

Jim Thome hit two home runs to become the first White Sox player since Sammy Sosa in 1991 to hit two home runs on Opening Day, but it wasn't enough as Franklin Gutierrez went 3-for-3 with a three-run homer as the Indians started the 2008 season on the right track.

Last season, Cleveland finished one game away from reaching the World Series after holding a 3-1 series lead over the eventual champions, Boston Red Sox, in the American League Championship Series. It was a season that saw the Indians' home opener and subsequent series snowed out due to an April snowstorm.

With Mother Nature cooperating with 64 degree temperatures and no rain, it was up to the White Sox and the Indians to put on a show.

"It was a wild day," Indians manager Eric Wedge said.

Kelly Shoppach and Jhonny Peralta started the eighth with consecutive singles off of reliever Octavio Dotel (0-1), who recovered to retire the next two batters. After a walk to Gutierrez, Blake hit Dotel's 1-2 pitch off the top of the left field wall to clear the bases and break a 7-7 tie.

"I was just trying to battle," Blake said. "First time facing (Dotel) this season, I just wanted to be aggressive with his fastball. He just made a mistake."

Dotel agreed that he could have made a better pitch.

"I was trying to go away with my fastball," Dotel said. "I didn't throw it where I wanted to. It was right down the middle and he had a good swing."

Shoppach started the game on the bench, but entered after All-star catcher Victor Martinez injured his left hamstring sliding into second base in the second.

"(Shoppach) helped us a great deal last year," Wedge said. "Obviously he is off to a great start in helping us out this year."

Rafael Betancourt (1-0) worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings to pick up the win and Joe Borowski, who led the AL last season with 45 saves despite a 5.07 ERA, worked around a solo home run by Jermaine Dye in the ninth for the save.

"I didn't want to give the fans any false hope and have (the fans) expect a 1-2-3 inning all the time," Borowski joked.

Chicago had thought it had taken the lead in the top half of the eighth, but a base running blunder and two controversial calls by the umpires helped extinguish the threat.

Joe Crede led off the inning with a double and Juan Uribe hit a line-drive two-bagger off the wall, but Crede held at second to make sure the ball wasn't caught and could only make it to third.

After an intentional walk to Nick Swisher, Betancourt induced Orlando Cabrera to ground into a fielder's choice, setting up a play at the plate. Shortstop Jhonny Peralta charged the ball and threw home to Shoppach. Although the throw was high, home plate umpire Gerry Davis thought Shoppach grazed the jersey of a sliding Crede when he swept a tag.

"I slid into home and nobody tagged me," Crede said. "I didn't feel anything. I went in and looked at the replay and he didn't tag me."

"I don't know where I tagged him," Shoppach said. "Maybe I got his jersey."

Crede and White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen protested to Davis, but it would be to no avail while replays were inconclusive. One batter later, Guillen was out of the dugout again.

Jim Thome hit a soft grounder to second and Asdrubal Cabrera went to second to start a double play. As Peralta came across the bag, Cabrera came sliding in and reached out and grabbed the shortstop's thigh.

Second base umpire Bruce Dreckman immediately called runner's interference on Cabrera, ending the inning and sending Guillen into a rage. Replays seemed to show that Thome would have beaten the throw to second.

"The umpire was right," Guillen said. "I went down and saw the replay and he grabbed (Peralta)."

"It was a pretty bizarre (inning)," Blake said. "That was the game right there, getting out of that inning without giving up any runs."

The Indians looked like they were in control after a seven-run second inning turned a 2-0 deficit into a 7-2 lead with the C.C. Sabathia, the reigning AL Cy Young winner, on the mound. Yet, the White Sox had a different idea.

Paul Konerko's two-run double in the seventh tied the game at 7-7 as the White Sox rallied off one of baseball's best bullpens from 2007.

"It's kind of discouraging for us with the way we came back," Crede said. "For something like that to happen is frustrating."

Cleveland scored seven runs off of Chicago starter Mark Buehrle in the second as the Indians erased a 2-0 lead. Gutierrez's three-run bomb highlighted the inning and Grady Sizemore also homered for the second straight Opening Day.

It was Gutierrez's first Opening Day in the majors after getting called up halfway through last season.

"The player of the game should be Franklin Gutierrez," Blake said. "He gave us that lead early and was fantastic for us."

However, White Sox reliever Nick Masset gave the offense a chance to get back into the game with 4 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Buehrle, who was charged with seven runs and seven hits in 1 2/3 frames.

Thome, who entered the game 0-for-11 with seven strikeouts against Sabathia, closed the gap with his second two-run homer of the game in the third to cut the deficit to 7-4.

"I tried not to think about it too much," Thome said. "I've watched C.C. come up here. He's a great pitcher. You know he's going to come right after you."

An RBI single by A.J. Pierzynski in the sixth brought Chicago even closer and chased Sabathia.

"There's no such thing as a moral victory," Pierzynski said. "To come back from 7-2 against C.C. is huge, but give them credit. They got the hits when they needed them and we didn't."

Sabathia looked anything but a Cy Young winner as he labored through 5 1/3 innings, giving up five runs and seven hits while striking out seven and walking three.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CHI WHITE SOX 2 0 2 0 0 1 2 0 1 8 13 0
    CLEVELAND 0 7 0 0 0 0 0 3 x 10 12 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CHA - MARK BUEHRLE, NICK MASSET (2ND), BOONE LOGAN (7TH), OCTAVIO
    DOTEL (8TH) AND A.J. PIERZYNSKI
    CLE - C.C. SABATHIA, JENSEN LEWIS (6TH), RAFAEL PEREZ
    (7TH), RAFA

    Mar 31 6:26 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JERMAINE DYE (1) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    9TH OFF JOE BOROWSKI.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHI WHITE SOX 8, CLEVELAND 10
    DUE UP FOR CHI WHITE SOX: A RAMIREZ (.000, 0-FOR-3, BB)

    White Sox 8, Indians 10  Top 9, 0 OutsMar 31 6:21 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CASEY BLAKE SCORED KELLY SHOPPACH, JHONNY PERALTA
    AND FRANKLIN GUTIERREZ.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, C BLAKE ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHI WHITE SOX 7
    CLEVELAND 10 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: G SIZEMORE (.250, 1-FOR-4, HR, RBI)

    White Sox 7, Indians 10  Bot 8, 0 OutsMar 31 6:11 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY PAUL KONERKO SCORED NICK SWISHER AND ORLANDO
    CABRERA.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, P KONERKO ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHI WHITE SOX 7
    CLEVELAND 7 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR CHI WHITE SOX: J DYE (.500, 1-FOR-2, BB)

    White Sox 7, Indians 7  Top 7, 0 OutsMar 31 5:23 PM
  • 10
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    White Sox 5, Indians 7  Top 6, 0 OutsMar 31 5:00 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY A.J. PIERZYNSKI SCORED JERMAINE DYE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A PIERZYNSKI ON FIRST, A RAMIREZ ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHI WHITE SOX 5
    CLEVELAND 7 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR CHI WHITE SOX: J CREDE (.000, 0-FOR-2)

    White Sox 5, Indians 7  Top 6, 0 OutsMar 31 4:56 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JIM THOME (2) TO CENTER WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF C.C. SABATHIA SCORED NICK SWISHER.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHI WHITE SOX 4, CLEVELAND 7
    DUE UP FOR CHI WHITE SOX: P KONERKO (.000, 0-FOR-1)

    White Sox 4, Indians 7  Top 3, 0 OutsMar 31 4:03 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY VICTOR MARTINEZ SCORED TRAVIS HAFNER.
    SITUATION: 7 RUNS IN, V MARTINEZ ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHI WHITE SOX 2
    CLEVELAND 7 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: J PERALTA (1.000, 1-FOR-1)

    White Sox 2, Indians 7  Bot 2, 0 OutsMar 31 3:47 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY TRAVIS HAFNER SCORED JASON MICHAELS.
    SITUATION: 6 RUNS IN, T HAFNER ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHI WHITE SOX 2
    CLEVELAND 6 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: V MARTINEZ (1.000, 1-FOR-1)

    White Sox 2, Indians 6  Bot 2, 0 OutsMar 31 3:44 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY GRADY SIZEMORE (1) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF MARK BUEHRLE.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHI WHITE SOX 2, CLEVELAND 5
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: J MICHAELS (.000, 0-FOR-1)

    White Sox 2, Indians 5  Bot 2, 0 OutsMar 31 3:41 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY FRANKLIN GUTIERREZ (1) TO LEFT CENTER
    WITH 1 OUT IN THE 2ND OFF MARK BUEHRLE SCORED JHONNY PERALTA AND
    ASDRUBAL CABRERA.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHI WHITE SOX 2, CLEVELAND 4
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: C BLAKE (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    White Sox 2, Indians 4  Bot 2, 0 OutsMar 31 3:39 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY ASDRUBAL CABRERA SCORED VICTOR
    MARTINEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A CABRERA ON FIRST, J PERALTA ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHI WHITE SOX 2
    CLEVELAND 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: F GUTIERREZ (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    White Sox 2, Indians 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsMar 31 3:36 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Againigan Added 5 roots

    White Sox 2, Indians 0  Top 2, 0 OutsMar 31 3:27 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CHI WHITE SOX 2 2 1 0
    CLEVELAND 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: CHA - MARK BUEHRLE
    CLE - C.C. SABATHIA

    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: G SIZEMORE (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)
    J MICHAELS (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)
    T HAFNER (.000, 0 HR, 0 R

    White Sox 2, Indians 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsMar 31 3:14 PM