Baseball / Sports

Rally chickens help Indians end losing skid

CLEVELAND -- Needing something to break the Indians' six-game losing streak and poor performances at the plate, pitchers Cody Allen and Corey Kluber dressed up in giant chicken costumes to shag hits prior to Friday night's game against the Chicago White Sox.

Once the real game started, and the chicken suits were taken off, the Indians found the offense they've been looking for and beat the White Sox, 12-5, snapping that six-game losing streak.

The Indians (12-17) scored five runs in the first inning alone, more than any single game total during the team's West Coast trip.

Carlos Santana led the way early, driving in the first run of the game with a double down the left-field line to score Mike Aviles. Ryan Raburn followed with a two-RBI double and a few batters later, Yan Gomes doubled home two more runs to make it 5-0.

In the bottom of the second inning, Santana drove a solo shot to the home run porch to make it 6-3, following a White Sox (14-16) rally. The Indians added another run in the third inning, as Michael Bourn's single to center field scored Gomes, who earlier hit his second double of the game.

Santana has hit three home runs in the last four games and is finally hitting like the cleanup hitter the Indians have been expecting. With Jason Kipnis out three to five weeks with a right oblique strain, Santana's bat might be the most valuable in the Indians' lineup. Kipnis' replacement Friday night, Elliot Johnson, put starting pitcher Danny Salazar in a couple of jams. Johnson dropped two throws from the left side of the infield that would have surely resulted in one out and might have each ended with a double play.

It hurt Salazar in the second inning. Alejandro De Aza and Adrian Nieto each had RBI singles, and a third run scored on a passed ball by Gomes.

Salazar finally got out of the inning by striking out the final two batters. When Johnson made his second error, Salazar struck out one and then got a double play thanks to Asdrubal Cabrera to escape unharmed.

In the fifth, Jose Abreu continued his torrid start with a home run to left field, his 11th of the season.

Michael Brantley answered with a home run of his own, his fifth of the year. Swisher later made it 9-5 with an RBI double to right field. In the sixth inning, Brantley drove in two more runs with a single up the middle. A wild pitch then made it 12-5.

(c)2014 Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)

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