Performance with runners in scoring position:
That just about gets to the bottom of this one, as the Indians posted a couple of crooked numbers while the Sox couldn't take advantage of a shaky Ubaldo Jimenez.
The Indians were especially lethal with two outs. They put together a three-run rally off Zach Stewart after Stewart struck out the first two hitters in the second, and they did it while behind in the count. Luis Valbuena singled on an 0-2 pitch, Trevor Crowe did the same on an 0-1 pitch, and Lou Marson doubled home two runs on a two-strike count to give Cleveland a 3-0 lead.
In the eighth, Matt Thornton couldn't escape a bases-loaded jam of his own making, allowing a two-out nubber RBI single, and then a two-run double to the right-field corner. That gave the Indians a 7-2 lead, and six of those runs scored with two outs.
The other run came courtesy of a Luis Valbuena solo shot off Will Ohman. It also took place on an 0-2 count.
The White Sox couldn't discover the same mojo, although they had plenty of chances. They were able to strike for a couple of run-scoring fielder's choices in the third, which made it a one-run game.
Juan Pierre was finally able to strike for a hit in the clutch in the ninth, driving in Alejandro De Aza after he led off the inning with a ground-rule double. That made it 7-3, and Alexei Ramirez singled Pierre to third to keep the game alive. But Paul Konerko grounded out to third, sealing both the game and an 0-for-5 day himself.
*Dayan Viciedo threw out Trevor Crowe at home on what could've been an RBI single. A.J. Pierzynski had to leap to catch the throw, which might've encouraged Crowe to try plowing him over. Problem was, Crowe was about two steps too late to make impact, as Pierzynski landed and turned before Crowe came across. A mildly creative slide would've been more effective.
*Stewart got a free plunking of Travis Hafner, who checked his swing while taking a slider to the shin, but third-base umpire Ed Hickox saw otherwise.