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Chicago cuts down Indians

Ramirez’s presence felt in his White Sox debut

Associated Press / September 2, 2010

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Manny Ramirez packed his equipment into three large, blue travel bags with script “Dodgers’’ on the sides. Dressed in a pink shirt and plaid suit, he fiddled with his dreadlocked hair, for the moment safe from a barber’s scissors.

His dragged-out debut for Chicago finally over, Ramirez left Cleveland for Boston, the next stop on his first road trip with his new team.

It’s been perfect — so far.

Ramirez provided only a bloop single in the seventh in his first game for the White Sox, but for the second straight game his presence was felt in the on-deck circle as Paul Konerko, batting cleanup in front of the colorful slugger, connected for a three-run homer in the eighth inning yesterday to give Chicago a 6-4 win and a three-game sweep of the Indians.

After weeks of speculation, Ramirez was finally in Chicago’s lineup. Just by being Manny, he seemed to raise confidence in the White Sox that they could come back.

With the win, Chicago improved to 3-0 on a critical 10-game trip as it tries to reel in first-place Minnesota atop the AL Central.

“It’s nice, and it’s needed,’’ Konerko said of the three-game winning streak since Ramirez was acquired. “Minnesota is going to be up there. The only time we can control what they’re going to do is when we play them.’’

Ramirez’s debut with the White Sox was anything but a hit for seven innings. Chicago made three errors, starter Freddy Garcia left with a stiff back and the White Sox were down 4-1 while being stymied by Carlos Carrasco, making his first start for Cleveland in 2010.

Yankees 4, Athletics 3 — A.J. Burnett (10-12) bounced back from an awful August by pitching six effective innings and host New York beat Oakland for its fifth straight win.

The Yankees held their one-game lead over Tampa Bay in the AL East. They’ll go for a four-game sweep today with CC Sabathia on the mound.

Rays 2, Blue Jays 1 — Evan Longoria snapped an eighth-inning tie with an RBI single, leading host Tampa Bay past Toronto for David Price’s club-record 16th victory.

Price (16-6) allowed a solo homer to John Buck, a double and two infield singles over eight innings. The 25-year-old lefthander walked two and struck out seven before Rafael Soriano worked the ninth for his major league-leading 40th save in 42 opportunities.

Astros 5, Cardinals 2 — Hunter Pence hit a three-run homer and host Houston completed a sweep to hand St. Louis its fifth straight defeat.

Nelson Figueroa (4-2) pitched out of two bases-loaded jams and lasted five innings for the win.

Marlins 16, Nationals 10 — Nyjer Morgan charged the mound after a pitch sailed behind him, triggering a bench-clearing brawl during host Florida’s victory over Washington.

Morgan left Florida catcher Brett Hayes with a separated shoulder Tuesday night after a home plate collision in the 10th inning.

Phillies 5, Dodgers 1 — Roy Oswalt (10-13) pitched one-hit ball into the seventh and Philadelphia used leadoff homers by Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino in the first two innings to win in Los Angeles.

Cubs 5, Pirates 3 — Kosuke Fukudome had three hits, including a go-ahead double, during a perfect day at the plate and host Chicago avoided a three-game sweep.

Rangers 4, Royals 3 — Rookie Mitch Moreland homered again and Texas kept pulling away in the AL West, beating host Kansas City to increase its division lead to 9 1/2 games over Oakland.

Twins 2, Tigers 1 — Danny Valencia’s one-out single in the 10th inning drove in Michael Cuddyer from second base and gave host Minnesota the victory over Detroit.

Reds 6, Brewers 1— Lefthander Aroldis Chapman hit 103 miles per hour on the radar gun during another sizzling inning, then got his first big-league win when host Cincinnati rallied for a victory over Milwaukee.

Angels 4, Mariners 2 — Hideki Matsui hit a two-out, two-run homer in the seventh inning, barely eluding the glove of Ichiro Suzuki, and Los Angeles rallied for a win over host Seattle.

Braves 4, Mets 1 — Tommy Hanson finally got some run support and won for the first time in nearly two months, allowing just one hit in seven shutout innings to lead Atlanta past visiting New York.

Giants 2, Rockies 1 — Pinch-runner Darren Ford scored the go-ahead run from second base on a wild pitch and throwing error in the eighth inning, helping Tim Lincecum end a career-worst five-start skid in host San Francisco’s victory over Colorado.

Diamondbacks 5, Padres 2 — Brandon Allen had an impressive 2010 debut with Arizona, hitting a grand slam and making several rangy catches in left field to help the host Diamondbacks send reeling San Diego to its seventh straight loss.

Notables

■Because of injuries, new White Sox DH Manny Ramirez has only made five starts since June 29.

■With Manny Ramirez on board, the White Sox are the second team in history to have players with at least 300 (Paul Konerko), 400 (Andruw Jones) and 500 (Ramirez) homers. The 2002 Texas Rangers were the first with Alex Rodriguez, Juan Gonzalez and Rafael Palmeiro.

■The Reds stretched their NL Central lead to a season-high eight games over St. Louis. Cincinnati hasn’t enjoyed such a big edge since 1995, the last time it reached the playoffs.

■Cubs starter Tom Gorzelanny was knocked out in the third when Jose Tabata lined a shot off his right hand.

■The Yankees have scored in the first inning in 10 of their last 15 games.

Arizona failed to score six runs for the first time in seven games.

Tampa Bay won its 11th consecutive home series over Toronto.

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