White Sox Top Indians

Chicago 8, Cleveland 1

Thursday, Sep 8, 2011  |  Updated 11:15 PM CDT
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White Sox Top Indians

AP

Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Josh Kinney, right, celebrates with catcher Tyler Flowers after defeating the Cleveland Indians 8-1.

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Brent Morel hit two homers and Paul Konerko had a grand slam, lifting the Chicago White Sox to an 8-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Thursday night.

Morel hit a solo shot off Indians starter David Huff (2-4) in the third and a three-run homer off Frank Herrmann in the seventh -- both on the first pitch. It was Morel's first career multi-homer game and his four RBIs were a career-high.

Konerko's 10th career grand slam tied Robin Ventura's White Sox record and capped Chicago's seven-run seventh.

Gavin Floyd struck out four and held Cleveland to one run and five hits in 5 2-3 innings. Matt Thornton (1-4) retired all four batters he faced, striking out three.

Huff gave up three runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings, striking out five, as the Indians lost their fourth straight.

Both clubs were recently swept by first-place Detroit, giving the Tigers a commanding lead in the AL Central and virtually reducing this weekend's series into a battle for second place.

Putting a further damper on a matchup that had lost its once-anticipated luster, a misty rain began to blow across the field during the top of the third and fell for much of the game.

The small, subdued crowd at U.S. Cellular Field saved its biggest cheers for Cleveland's Jim Thome, whose RBI single in the first scored Asdrubal Cabrera for the game's first run.

The White Sox honored Thome in a ceremony before the game in recognition of his 600th career homer, which he hit on Aug. 15. Thome, who played for Chicago from 2006 to 2009, also received a standing ovation before his first plate appearance.

Morel tied the game with a homer to left-center in the bottom of third. Later in the inning, Juan Pierre singled for his 2,000th career hit, also earning a nice ovation as he tipped his cap. Pierre, 34, became the 268th big-leaguer to reach the milestone.

Despite holding the Indians to one run, Floyd fell behind a number of hitters working from a slippery mound, running up his pitch count. At one point in the sixth, he requested that the field crew come out and apply sand around the pitching rubber.

Floyd departed after throwing 112 pitches, giving way to Will Ohman, who got Thome on an inning-ending grounder with a runner on first.

Huff pitched into the seventh, when he allowed a walk and a single to begin the inning. He struck out Tyler Flowers before giving way to Herrmann, whose first pitch Morel hammered into the left-field bleachers.

Herrmann allowed a walk and a single before being replaced by Josh Judy, who hit Brent Lillibridge with a pitch and gave up Konerko's grand slam. The White Sox scored seven runs on just four hits in the inning.

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