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Published: Wednesday, 7/1/2009

White Sox pummel Lee, Tribe


CLEVELAND - Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye drove in two runs apiece, Chicago chased Cleveland ace Cliff Lee in the fourth inning and the White Sox pounded the miserable Indians 11-4 in a game called in the seventh inning last night to move above .500 for the first time since May 2.

Konerko hit a two-run homer in the first for Chicago, which has won four straight and 11 of 15. The White Sox haven't had a winning record since they were 12-11.

Gordon Beckham and Josh Fields also homered for Chicago.

The umpiring crew finally called it at 11 p.m. following a 57-minute rain delay with two outs in the top of the seventh - the second stoppage of the game and third overall. The first pitch was pushed back from 7:05 to 7:37 by threatening weather.

Lee (4-7) had pitched at least five innings in 47 consecutive starts before being battered by the White Sox for seven runs and 11 hits in three-plus innings. The defending AL Cy Young Award winner may have been bothered by the unnecessary 32-minute delay at the start.

The Indians had the infield at Progressive Field covered before the first pitch despite mostly sunny skies.

It's been that kind of season in Cleveland, which has lost 12 of 14 amid speculation manager Eric Wedge's days could be numbered.

Lee turned in his shortest start since he went only 22/3 innings in an 11-0 loss to the White Sox on May 29, 2006. Lee's 47-game streak of lasting until the fifth was the longest in the majors and the most since Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry went 71 straight in the 1970s.

Clayton Richard (3-1), who moved into Chicago's rotation in May, won for the first time in six June starts. He allowed four runs and four hits and was credited with his first complete game.

The left-hander is 5-0 with a 2.37 ERA in six career starts of at least six innings.

Before the game, Indians trainer Lonnie Soloff said there "was a high index of suspicion" all-star center fielder Grady Sizemore will have offseason elbow surgery. Sizemore went 0-for-3.

Lee, who has pitched far better than his record, came in riding a 22-inning scoreless streak against the White Sox, who quickly made sure it didn't reach 23.

Chicago scored four runs in the first off Lee, highlighted by Konerko's 13th homer, a shot into the Indians' bullpen in right-center.

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