McAllister gets win in opener for Indians
By TOM WITHERS
CLEVELAND (AP) Zach McAllister only packed an overnight bag, knowing his stay would be brief.
He made the most of it.
McAllister pitched six innings for his first major league win as the Cleveland Indians pounded a far-from-perfect Philip Humber on Monday in an 8-6 win over the Chicago White Sox in a day-night doubleheader opener.
Recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A Columbus, McAllister allowed two earned runs and six hits in a career-high six innings. He walked one, set a personal best with six strikeouts and planned to celebrate his victory by hanging around.
"Yeah," he said with a smile. "I'll stay for the second game."
Meanwhile, Humber has gone from perfect to perfectly flawed.
Humber (2-1) couldn't get out of the third inning as the Indians tagged him eight runs and nine hits in 2 1-3 innings. He hasn't been sharp since pitching the 21st perfect game in major league history last month. Since then, Humber has allowed 20 runs in 13 1-3 innings and gone 0-2 with a no-decision.
"I'm frustrated," said Humber,. "I'm doing my best, it's just the last two or three times out there, it's been rough. I'm definitely hoping for better results. I'm doing the best I can to make that happen, but right now it's kind of a grind."
Michael Brantley and Casey Kotchman drove in three runs each for the AL-Central leading Indians, five games over. 500 for the first time this season. Travis Hafner homered and hit his first triple in nearly five years as Cleveland, coming off a series win over defending AL champion Texas, improved to 7-3 in its last 10.
Alexei Ramirez had three RBIs for the White Sox, who closed within 8-6 in the ninth against Jairo Asencio before Nick Hagadone, who hadn't been in a ninth-inning, game-on-the-line situation since college, got three outs for his first career save.
Hagadone was asked if he liked the closer's role.
"Maybe someday," he said. "We got a pretty good one right now."
Manager Manny Acta briefly got Chris Perez up throwing in the ninth but decided not to bring him go for his 12th save.
Humber's masterpiece was stunning. He threw the third perfect game in club history in Seattle in just his 30th major league start. His recent slide, which has come after his wife gave birth to the couple's first child, has been almost as unexpected.
In his last three outings, Humber has given up 21 hits, including five homers, and walked 11.
"Today I did not feel like I had very good stuff at all," Humber said. "The ball wasn't coming out of my hand very good. It's not a health issue or anything like that. I'm not getting down on myself. I don't have any less confidence than I had coming into the season.
"I know I have what it takes to pitch well. It's a matter of it to happen. I've had a couple of good games, one decent one and two terrible ones."
Cleveland chased him with a five-run fifth.
After Humber allowed two singles and a walk to load the bases, Brantley's two-run double made it 5-2 and Kotchman, batting just .160, followed by lining a shot into the gap in right-center. Kotchman managed to leg out a two-run double when shortstop Ramirez missed the tag at second.
Humber then walked Jack Hannahan and was pulled by manager Robin Ventura, who brought in Jose Quintana to make his major league debut. Quintana, recalled before the game from Double-A Birmingham, got an out before walking two straight to force in a run to put Cleveland ahead 8-2.
Quintana wound up pitching 5 2-3 shutout innings.
Chicago got within 8-4 in the fourth on an RBI double by Ramirez and Kosuke Fukudome's sacrifice fly.
McAllister, though, buckled down and got through the fifth and sixth without incident to pick up the win and allow Acta more rest for his bullpen.
McAllister competed for a job in the starting rotation during spring training before being sent down to the minors. He knew even if he threw a shutout he would be making the trip back down Interstate-71 to Columbus.
"He pitched very well for us in spring training," Acta said. "He knows where he stands right now."
Hafner led off the second with his fourth homer, a 403-foot shot into the seats in right. It was Hafner's 192nd homer, tying him with Al Rosen for eighth place on Cleveland's career list.
Later, Hafner hit his first triple since May 29, 2007 at Boston - a span of 1,711 at-bats.
"I was thinking double and got forced into a triple," Hafner joked.
NOTES: The start of the game was delayed 26 minutes by rain. ... It was the first time the Indians have had a first career win and save in the same game since July 19, 1993, when Albie Lopez won and Jerry DiPoto earned a save. ... Acta said Indians OF Grady Sizemore is on schedule to take batting practice when the club returns from its next road trip. Sizemore is on the 60-day disabled list after undergoing back surgery in March. He's eligible to be activated on June 3.
Updated May 7, 2012