CLEVELAND — Pinch-hitter Ryan Raburn’s two-run single in the eighth inning rallied the Cleveland Indians to their sixth straight win, 7-4 over the freefalling Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.
Raburn, batting for Jason Giambi, who won Monday night’s game with a pinch-hit homer in the ninth, singled off Matt Lindstrom as the Indians stormed back and won for the 11th time in 15 games.
Yan Gomes added a two-run single in the eighth as the Indians stayed within 2½ games of first-place Detroit in the AL Central.
The Indians were in danger of losing to Brazilian rookie Andre Rienzo in his debut before coming back against Donnie Veal (1-2), who started the eighth.
Cleveland’s comeback spoiled a solid outing by Rienzo, who started in place of Jake Peavy. Rienzo, the first Brazilian-born player to pitch in the major leagues, did not allow an earned and only five hits in seven innings.
Bryan Shaw (2-2) got one out in the eighth and closer Chris Perez worked the ninth for his 15th save — and ninth straight.
Rienzo was recalled earlier in the day from the minors as the White Sox pushed back Peavy’s start one day in case they are able to trade him before Wednesday’s deadline. Peavy could be headed to a contender.
Adam Dunn drove in two runs for the White Sox, who dropped 24 games under .500 for the first time since Sept. 29, 1989.
Trailing 4-3, the Indians scored four runs in the eighth.
Veal gave up a one-out single to Asdrubal Cabrera, and one out later, Carlos Santana singled. Pinch-runner Drew Stubbs stole second before Raburn, who has been clutch all season for manager Terry Francona, singled to center off Lindstrom to make it 5-4. After Lonnie Chisenhall singled, Gomes came through with his double.
With Peavy in waiting mode to see if he’ll be traded, Rienzo gave the White Sox a glimpse of their future.
The right-hander seemed unfazed in facing one of baseball’s hottest teams. He was only in trouble once, when the Indians scored three times in the fifth to tie it. But Rienzo quickly shook it off and was in position to get a win before the Indians came back against Chicago’s bullpen.
Along with Peavy, the White Sox have reportedly dangled outfielder Alex Rios. He left in the eighth after fouling a pitch off his left foot.
The White Sox took a 4-3 lead in the sixth on Dayan Viciedo’s two-out RBI single.
Cleveland starter Scott Kazmir allowed four runs and nine hits in five-plus innings.
Staked to a 3-0 lead, Rienzo looked poised while making history as Brazil’s first big-league pitcher.
In the third, he faced Indians catcher and fellow countryman Gomes, who dribbled a single through the middle for Cleveland’s second hit.
Once he reached first, the Indians catcher shared a smile with Rienzo, who moments later tried to pick his friend from Brazil’s national team off the bag.
Rienzo showed his full repertoire in the fourth, striking out Nick Swisher, All-Star Jason Kipnis and Cabrera on just 11 pitches. He started off Cabrera with two curves before blowing a high fastball past Cleveland’s shortstop.
However, Rienzo was hurt by two walks in the fifth, when the Indians scored three unearned runs to tie it 3-all.
The Indians loaded the bases on a walk, an error by shortstop Alexei Ramirez and Chisenhall’s one-out single. Rienzo walked Gomes to force in Cleveland’s first run. Michael Bourn followed with a grounder that first baseman Dunn fielded and threw to second for an out.
Bourn beat the return throw and stepped on the foot of Rienzo, who was covering the bag at first. Carlos Santana scored and Chisenhall was waved around by third base coach Brad Mills, who alertly recognized Rienzo was hurt.
The White Sox gave Rienzo an early cushion, scoring two runs in the first and one in the second to take some pressure him.
Dunn hit a two-out, two-run double in the first as Chicago ended Cleveland’s streak of scoring first at 16 games, a franchise record.
In the second, Gordon Beckham ended a 0-for-20 slide with a one-out double and scored when Josh Phegley ended a 0-for-14 slump with an RBI single.
Indians get Rzepczynski in trade with Cardinals
CLEVELAND — The Indians believe they’ve found the right reliever to fix their issue against left-handed hitters.
Cleveland acquired lefty Marc Rzepczynski from St. Louis on Tuesday, adding an experienced veteran to a bullpen that has struggled all season to retire lefties. The Indians’ left-handers have a 6.47 ERA.
To get Rzepczynski, the Indians, who began the night trailing first-place Detroit by 2½ games in the AL Central, sent minor league infielder Juan Herrera to the Cardinals.
“He’s been very effective at getting left-handed hitters out at the major league level,” Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said of Rzepczynski, who has been nicknamed “Scrabble” by previous teammates who struggle to pronounce or spell his name. “In addition to that, he has postseason experience and has pitched in some very pressurized games and games we aspire to play in.
“We think he addresses a need both in the short and long-term for the organization and he’ll fit in very well.”
The 27-year-old is 9-17 with a 4.20 ERA in 177 career games for Toronto and St. Louis. Left-handed hitters have batted .224 against Rzepczynski, who pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings for the champion Cardinals in the 2011 World Series.
Rzepczynski has split this season between St. Louis and Triple-A Memphis, posting a 7.84 ERA in 11 games at the major league level. But in the minors, he’s got a 3.07 ERA in 32 games and held lefties to a .185 average.