By Paul LaTour
Not even the pitcher with the best ERA in the American League could slow down the White Sox offense.
Sparked by a career-high five RBIs from Dayan Viciedo, Chicago rocked starter Derek Lowe in a 14-7 victory over Cleveland on Saturday at U.S. Cellular Field. The Sox had season highs in runs and hits (17).
The Sox, who clinched its third consecutive series victory, won for the eighth time in nine games and extended their home run streak to 12 games. They scored four runs in each of the first, third and seventh innings, then added two in the eighth.
Alex Rios went 3-for-5 with a home run and four RBI despite being robbed of an apparent homer in his first at-bat. Paul Konerko had four hits, drove in two and scored three times to raise his AL-best batting average to .396.
Lowe allowed eight runs and 10 hits in 2 13 innings against an offense that continues to pound the ball. Lowes ERA climbed from 2.15 to 3.25.
What looked the makings of a great pitching matchup never materialized as Lowe wasnt alone in his struggles. Jake Peavy, who came in with the ALs third-lowest ERA, gave up seven runs on six hits in 6 13 innings. Peavy walked one and struck out nine in a 113-pitch effort.
The Sox rocked Lowe from the start, scoring four times in the first inning, and doing it in rare fashion -- without a home run.
Four singles and a double scored four runs against Lowe. Konerko scored Gordon Beckham with Chicagos third consecutive one-out single.
It appeared Rios would clear the bases with a long drive, but Michael Brantley robbed him with leaping catch over the fence just to the left of the 400-foot sign in dead center.
The only extra-base hit of the inning came next on a run-scoring double by A.J. Pierzynski, his 11th RBI in the past 10 games. Viciedo followed with an RBI two-run single to give the Sox a 4-0 lead.
The Indians waited until the third to attack Peavy. A walk, single and hit batter loaded the bases and Brantley cleared them with a double to right-center, cutting Chicagos lead to 4-3.
Northbrook native Jason Kipnis followed with a two-run home run as Peavy labored through a 37-pitch inning after he had retired the first seven batters he faced.
The Sox quickly regained the lead on back-to-back lead-off doubles by Dunn and Konerko, followed by a Rios single. Viciedo clubbed his 10th home run to score Rios and make it 8-5.
Viciedo extended his home run streak to a career-high three games.
Kipnis struck again in the fifth with another two-run home run off Peavy. It was Kipnis first career multi-homer game.
But the Sox pulled away in the seventh with another four-run inning, highlighted by a Rios double to score Konerko. Viciedo and Alejandro De Aza also had RBI in the inning.
Konerko wasnt done, however. His ground-rule double into left-center field in the eighth gave him a perfect day at the plate (four hits, one walk). He was replaced by a pinch-runner and left to a standing ovation.
Rios followed with a deep home run to right, his fourth of the season.