Belliard, Dye fuel Indians' win over White Sox

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Ronnie Belliard and the Cleveland Indians
simply refused to give in.

Belliard fouled off five consecutive pitches on a 1-2 count and then hit a three-run homer as the Indians overcame three deficits for a 12-8 victory over Chicago on Thursday night, their third straight win over the White Sox.

"It just feels good," Belliard said. "I wasn't trying to hit the ball out of the park. He threw a changeup and I hit it. The big thing is coming back to win this series over a very good team."

Jermaine Dye homered twice and drove in five runs, while Jim Thome had three RBI for Chicago, which led 5-2, trailed 7-5 and went ahead 8-7.

But the defending World Series champions couldn't prevent the Indians from winning the final three games of the series after losing the opener 11-0. The White Sox lost for the fifth time in seven games and dropped 2½ games behind AL Central leader Detroit.

"Just looking at the way we played, we're lucky to be where we are," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "We didn't pitch well in this series. They swung the bats well, but as a team, we're not throwing the ball the way we should. That's why we lost the last three games."

Ben Broussard had four of Cleveland's 14 hits as the Indians improved to 6-3 against the White Sox this season after losing 15 of 19 to them last year.

"This was an outstanding effort by everybody," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. "So many people stepped up and I can't say enough about the effort.

"Ronnie is one of the best in clutch situations and he kept battling," he said.

Belliard finally connected off Brandon McCarthy (2-3) for his third homer to put Cleveland ahead 10-8 in the seventh inning. Aaron Boone followed with a triple off the wall in center and scored on a single by Grady Sizemore.

Broussard capped the scoring in the eighth with his seventh homer.

Fernando Cabrera (1-1) pitched 1 1/3 innings for the win, despite yielding a three-run homer to Dye in the top of the seventh.

"There's no doubt that was a big lift to go ahead right there, but the game wasn't over," Dye said. "We had to not let them get the momentum back, but they did it. That's a good team over in that clubhouse."

Chicago starter Jose Contreras allowed six runs in five-plus innings, but the White Sox rallied after he left to keep his 13-game winning streak alive. The right-hander appeared to be headed to his first loss in 17 starts since Aug. 15 after Jason Michaels' two-run homer helped Cleveland take a 7-5 lead in the sixth.

"What a crazy game," Michaels said. "I just want to sit at my locker and not move. Just relax.

"There were so many emotional swings, but when Ronnie kept fouling off those pitches, I think everybody on our bench just knew -- just felt -- he was going to come through. But to end that at-bat with a home run, that's just incredible," he said.

Indians left-hander Scott Sauerbeck made his first appearance since being arrested early Tuesday morning when he and a female
companion allegedly attempted to hide from police while trying to avoid a traffic violation.

Sauerbeck struck out one and walked two in the seventh. He was relieved by Cabrera and Dye then homered over the wall in left for an 8-7 lead.

Thome put Chicago ahead with a first-inning sacrifice fly. Cleveland got RBI singles from Victor Martinez and Broussard in the bottom half, but Chicago regained the lead with a four-run third off Indians starter Paul Byrd.

Thome hit a two-run double and scored when Dye hit the next pitch over the wall in right for his 15th homer and a 5-2 lead.

Game notes
Chicago catcher A.J. Pierzynski was hit on right wrist by foul tip in first but played the whole game. "It's all black and blue and swollen," Guillen said. ... Michaels has a 10-game hitting streak, tying his career high. ... Chicago's Scott Podsednik was ordered back to second base after stealing third in the third inning because of umpire's interference. Plate ump Joe West got in the way of Martinez trying to make the throw. ... Byrd issued four walks in six innings. He had not walked a batter in his
previous three starts, covering 20 innings.