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Rapid Reaction: White Sox 8, Indians 7

8/17/2011

CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox took a 8-7 victory Tuesday in 14 innings during the opener of a key three-game series against the Cleveland Indians.

How it happened: The victory kept the White Sox 3½ games behind the first-place Tigers, but they are now just a half game in back of the second-place Indians. Juan Pierre had the game-ending single in the 14th inning. Gavin Floyd couldn’t protect an early lead so the offense kept pecking away at Indians pitching. The White Sox not only had five triples (two from Alejandro De Aza), they had an early home run from Pierre of the over-the-wall variety. The White Sox had a season-high 22 hits and 16 left on base.

What it means: Where would the White Sox be this season if they didn’t have the Indians to push around? The White Sox improved to 7-1 against Cleveland this season, an impressive feat considering the White Sox are 21-21 against the entire AL Central. Sure, the White Sox stepped up against a division opponent, but the offense started out strong and fizzled late until the 14th inning. Pitching alone isn’t going to get the White Sox to the finish line.

Outside the box: De Aza’s two triples in the same game were the first time a White Sox player did that since Alex Cintron on April 13, 2006.

What's next: White Sox left-hander Mark Buehrle (10-5, 3.06 ERA) will pitch in the middle game of the series on Wednesday. He will go up against Indians right-hander Fausto Carmona (5-12, 5.12) in the 7:10 start from U.S. Cellular Field.