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Indians hold off ChiSox to tie 'em for second

CHICAGO (AP) -- C.C. Sabathia's strong pitching and Coco Crisp's
three-run homer helped the Cleveland Indians take the lead.

But it was Ronnie Belliard's heads-up defensive play that saved
their 3-2 win over the struggling Chicago White Sox.

"That was awesome, kind of a crazy play and Belliard knew where
to go with the ball," Sabathia said Friday night after the Indians
tied the White Sox for second place in the AL Central.

When Joe Borchard's infield single hit reliever Bob Wickman's
glove and went behind second base, Belliard picked up the ball and
threw out pinch-runner Willie Harris at the plate as he tried to
score from second, ending the game.

"I just went and got it and tried to throw to first and tried
to fake him and he kept going," Belliard said. "I just threw to
home plate. I think he was going home all the way."

The win was the Indians' 10th win in 15 games, while Chicago
lost for the 10th time in 12 games. And what a painful ending for
the White Sox.

Harris, the team's fastest runner, said he kept going when third
base coach Joey Cora waved him home.

"I was just going off Joey and the guy made a good throw to the
plate," Harris said. "It's the tying run there and it's OK to
make the third out at the plate."

Cora said he gambled because Belliard fielded the ball well
behind second and had been playing deep.

"I took a chance and he beat me," Cora said. "He was playing
there in the outfield and he made a great play. He won, I lost."

Sabathia (8-6) shut out the White Sox for five innings before
Chicago pushed across an unearned run in the sixth and Juan Uribe
homered with two outs in the seventh to make it a one-run game.

Sabathia gave up five hits with one walk and eight strikeouts in
seven innings, outpitching Mark Buehrle in a matchup of top
left-handers. Bob Howry threw a scoreless eighth, and Wickman
worked the ninth for his third save.

"This is probably the worst I've felt my last couple of starts.
Every time I was looking up it said 96 [mph], 97," Sabathia said.

"I just tried to keep going and throw strikes."

Paul Konerko walked with one out in the ninth before Harris came
in to run for him and stole second with two outs.

Borchard's bouncer went off Wickman's glove before Belliard
fielded it near the outfield grass, faked a throw to first and then
threw home to get Harris easily.

"It was heads-up baseball, recognizing that the runner was
still going -- he can fly -- and to make a strong throw on the run.
He made the play," Indians manager Eric Wedge said.

Buehrle (10-5) pitched a two-hit shutout against Cleveland on
July 21, facing the minimum 27 batters after his bid for a perfect
game was broken up in the seventh. But he is winless in three
subsequent starts.

Casey Blake and Travis Hafner singled in the second inning and,
one out later, Crisp lifted his eighth homer to left.

Jamie Burke, who doubled with two outs in the third for
Chicago's first hit, singled in the sixth and moved up on a
sacrifice and a passed ball before scoring on Roberto Alomar's
sacrifice fly.

Alomar, rejoining the White Sox after he was traded Thursday by Arizona, went 0-for-3 and made a nice relay throw to get Belliard at the plate in the fifth when he tried to score on Matt Lawton's double to center.

Alomar also made an error on Omar Vizquel's grounder to second
in the seventh.

Buehrle lasted 6 2/3 innings, allowing nine hits and three runs.
He walked one and struck out five.

Game notes
The last time the teams met, two weeks ago at Jacobs Field,
the White Sox posted 14-0 and 3-0 shutouts. ... The Indians traded
for Toronto 1B-DH Josh Phelps, and he will join the team Sunday and
play mostly against left-handed pitching. Minor league infielder
Eric Crozier was sent to the Blue Jays. ... Sabathia improved to
7-2 in his career against the White Sox.