Kipnis powers Indians past White Sox 7-5
CHICAGO (AP) For Jason Kipnis, it was good to be home.
Kipnis hit a three-run homer and had a career-high four RBIs, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 7-5 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Thursday night.
Kipnis, a native of suburban Chicago, also tripled in a run, walked and scored twice. He's had a hit in all five of his career games in his hometown, going 8 for 18 with three extra-base hits and five RBIs.
"I'm pretty happy that it came in Chicago," Kipnis said. "I had people here, so it was cool to see. It's good to play well, but it's also nice to play well in front of friends and family."
Justin Masterson (1-2) picked up his first win of the season, holding the White Sox to three runs over 6 1-3 innings. Masterson improved to 3-1 at U.S. Cellular Field and hasn't allowed more than three runs in any of his six career road starts against the White Sox.
"They're a good hitting team, but for some reason they're nice enough to not hit when I go out there and pitch, so I appreciate it," Masterson said.
Chris Perez got the last two outs for his ninth save in 10 chances, striking out A.J. Pierzynski with a man on, then getting Alex Rios on a roller to second. That prompted Perez to pump his fist and yell on the mound, something to which Rios took exception.
"I don't know what was wrong with him," Rios said. "He just started yelling for no reason. He just started yelling, and that was it."
Perez said his actions weren't directed at Rios..
"I yelled like I usually do, so maybe he thought I was yelling at him or something, but I wasn't," Perez said. "I was yelling at my teammates, happy for the win.
"I didn't hear what he said. He did say something. It might have been in Spanish."
Asdrubal Cabrera also homered for the Indians, who took two of three from the White Sox and have won four straight road series to begin a season for the first time since 1961. Cleveland's 9-3 road record is tied with Texas for the best in the majors.
"(Winning on the road) is very important, especially early in the year because it sets a tone," Indians manager Manny Acta said.
Chicago couldn't overcome another rough night for John Danks (2-4), who allowed seven runs, six earned, over seven innings. He's allowed seven or more runs in back-to-back outings for the first time in his career.
"It's getting comical," Danks said. "I don't know. I lost the game. Straight up. I lost this game. We scored five runs tonight. That's a good pitcher on the other side. I didn't give us a chance to win this game at all."
Danks, who ranks third among American League lefties with 50 wins since 2008, has a 6.51 ERA through his first six starts. He also committed two errors and has three this year, matching his total for his first five big league seasons.
Danks fell to 0-5 with a 6.51 ERA in seven career starts against Cleveland at U.S. Cellular Field.
The Indians were clinging to a 4-3 lead when Kipnis connected with two out in the seventh, sending a 3-1 pitch from Danks over the wall in right.
"I had a good approach in that at-bat," Kipnis said. "Kind of cheated a little on 3-1. I think it was cutter in and I was able to get a good swing on it."
Adam Dunn hit a two-run homer in the ninth for Chicago, his seventh of the season and third in four games. Alejandro De Aza had three hits, including a two-run single in the fifth that trimmed Cleveland's lead to 3-2.
Johnny Damon led off the two-run third with a double for his first hit with the Indians, and scored on Kipnis' triple off the center-field wall. Cabrera singled home Kipnis.
Damon's run was the 1,644th of his career, breaking a tie with Jimmy Ryan for 35th on the all-time list.
The Indians have had at least a share of the lead in the AL Central for 10 straight days, their longest stretch in first place since June 29-July 9, 2011. Cleveland has won 12 of its last 18 games.
"Kipnis had a great day in front of a lot of family here," Acta said. "He was huge for us."
NOTES: Acta gave Travis Hafner the night off after he was hit on the right knee by a Phil Humber pitch during Wednesday's 6-3 win. ... Damon started at designated hitter after leaving Wednesday's game - his Indians debut - with what the team called "general cramping." ... The start of the game was delayed by 19 minutes because of storms moving through the Chicago area. ... Dunn's homer snapped streak of 17 2-3 scoreless innings by the Cleveland bullpen.
Updated May 4, 2012