CHICAGO – Ryan Raburn went 3 for 3 with a homer and five RBIs, and the Cleveland Indians routed the Chicago White Sox 14-3 on Thursday night to remain to 1 1-2 games out of the second AL wild-card spot.
The Indians blew the game open with a seven-run, rain-delayed fifth inning, when their first nine batters reached base. Charlie Leesman, who relieved Chicago starter John Danks (4-13), faced the first seven Cleveland hitters, all of whom scored.
Nick Swisher had a solo homer and three RBIs, and Asdrubal Cabrera added a solo shot to support starter Corey Kluber (9-5), who won his second straight start after missing a month with right middle finger sprain. The right-hander gave up two runs and six hits in five innings.
Relievers Josh Tomlin, Vinnie Pestano and Preston Guilmet worked the next four innings, allowing one unearned run.
Danks lasted four innings and allowed seven runs, nine hits and three walks in his third straight loss. In his last three outings, the left-hander has given up 17 runs in 14 1-3 innings.
Chicago reliever Dylan Axelrod pitched five innings to close the game, allowing no runs and four hits.
Paul Konerko hit a solo homer for the White Sox, who are in last place in the AL Central and have lost 11 of 13.
Cleveland’s Jason Kipnis went 2 for 2 with two RBIs as the Indians began a seven-game trip with a victory that improved them to 78-68. Tampa Bay, at 79-66, is in the second wild-card slot.
Cleveland closed within six games of idle Detroit in the AL Central.
Raburn, who has been hampered by nagging right calf and left heel injuries, played in just his third game since Aug. 18. Besides his 16th homer, he doubled and scored two runs.
In his career, Raburn has hit 17 of his 70 homers and driven in 66 of his 267 RBIs against the White Sox.
Swisher, who sat out Wednesday’s loss to Kansas City, hit his 18th homer with one out to open the scoring. After Kipnis singled and Carlos Santana walked, Raburn’s line shot to left barely cleared the fence for his 16th and made it 4-0.
After Kipnis drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth to extend Cleveland’s lead to 7-2, the Indians ran away with seven runs in the fifth.