Asdrubal Cabrera's five RBIs send Indians past White Sox

CLEVELAND -- Asdrubal Cabrera has become the Cleveland Indians' best offensive shortstop in more than 60 years.

Cabrera drove in five runs and Jeanmar Gomez won his fifth straight start for Cleveland as the Indians beat the Chicago White Sox 11-2 on Thursday night to remain in second place in the AL Central.

Cabrera hit a three-run homer and two-run single, tying his career-high for RBIs and giving him 92 for the season. That's the most by an Indians shortstop since Hall of Famer Lou Boudreau drove in 106 on the way to winning AL MVP honors and leading Cleveland to its last World Series title -- in 1948.

"It's remarkable what he's been doing," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "What a night! This guy has been putting together some really good numbers."

Cabrera's seventh-inning homer put Cleveland ahead 8-2 and was his 25th of the year, one more than the previous club record for a shortstop by Jhonny Peralta in 2005.

"I'm excited and pretty happy about that," said Cabrera, who entered this year with 18 homers in 387 career games. "I don't think too much about (getting 100 RBIs). I'll just do the best I can and after the season see what numbers I get."

Travis Hafner reached a milestone number, too, singling for his 1,000th career hit, and Kosuke Fukudome added three RBIs as Cleveland moved 1 games ahead of the White Sox.

Hafner, in and out of the lineup due to a series of injuries the past four seasons, was grateful for the fan ovation after being replaced by pinch runner Cord Phelps following his single.

"It was a very special moment," Hafner said. "I never thought about it until somebody said before the game I had 999. Then I thought about guys getting 3,000 hits. That's 200 for 15 years, just mind-boggling."

Gomez (5-2) gave up one earned run and four hits over six innings. Since being recalled from Triple-A Columbus on Aug. 30, the right-hander is 5-0 with a 1.80 ERA.

"We're not handing out jobs in September, but he's put himself in the mix," Acta said of Gomez's chances of joining the Indians' rotation in 2012. "He threw well."

Fukudome's two-out, two-run single off Philip Humber (9-9) in the fifth inning broke a 2-2 tie.

Fukudome drove Humber's second pitch of the game over the wall in right for his fifth homer. Four pitches later, Jason Kipnis hit his seventh for a 2-0 lead.

"I have never had that happen to me, the first two batters of the game going deep," Humber said.

It was the fourth time in Indians history and only the second time at home that Cleveland opened a game with two homers. Graig Nettles and Vada Pinson did it on June 19, 1971, at old Cleveland Stadium.

An error by Cabrera at shortstop helped Chicago tie it at 2 in the fifth.

With two outs and runners on first and second, Juan Pierre singled home Alejandro De Aza. Cabrera took the throw from right fielder Fukudome and threw wildly trying to get Brent Morel at third. Third baseman Jack Hannahan tracked down the ball and fired home, but Morel slid in safely with an unearned run.

The White Sox almost caught a break in the bottom half. Humber had retired 14 straight until Hannahan drew a two-out walk and apparently scored on a slicing drive down the left-field line by Ezequiel Carrera that looked like an RBI triple. Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen argued that a fan reached over a railing and touched the ball. The umpires huddled, agreed, and sent Hannahan back to third, ruling that Carrera got a ground-rule double.

Fukudome's soft line drive to left scored them both anyway.

Humber gave up seven runs and eight hits over six innings.

"He made a couple of bad pitches," Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said. "He got ahead in the count and left a couple of balls up and it hurt him. Most of the time he has been out there he has given us a chance to win."

Game notes
Chicago won the season series 11-7. ... White Sox SS Omar Vizquel and Cleveland DH Jim Thome exchanged the lineup cards -- a first for both former Indians teammates who have a combined 44 seasons and 5,388 games in the majors. "I hope it's not the last time we see these guys on the same field somewhere," Guillen said. "The next stop for both is the Hall of Fame, but they can still play." ... The Indians will salute Thome on Friday for surpassing 600 career homers and his other contributions. Before Thursday's game, Acta said the 41-year-old Thome would start at DH in Hafner's place Friday. "Even if Hafner hits three homers tonight, Jimmy is playing," Acta said. "Well, maybe three homers would change my mind." ... The last time the Indians hit two homers to open a game, Grady Sizemore and Casey Blake did it in Kansas City on May 23, 2007. ... RHP Justin Masterson (12-10) will oppose RHP Carl Pavano (8-13) on Friday night when Cleveland opens a four-game home series against Minnesota. ... The White Sox open a three-game series at home against Kansas City on Friday with RHP Zach Stewart (2-5) facing Royals LHP Bruce Chen (11-8).