CLEVELAND (AP) — The Chicago White Sox had no problem taking leads over the Indians on Friday night.
Holding on to them was a different story.
Hector Noesi allowed a two-run homer to Nick Swisher in the fifth inning, completing Cleveland’s third and final comeback in a 7-4 victory.
Chicago scored two runs in the second inning and one in the fourth, only to have the Indians match them in the bottom half of each frame.
Adam Dunn’s solo home run in the fifth gave the White Sox a 4-3 lead, but Noesi (3-7) promptly gave up a two-out RBI single to Lonnie Chisenhall and Swisher’s go-ahead homer that ended his evening.
“Every inning we’d get a little momentum, and they just kept taking it back,” said Chicago manager Robin Ventura, whose team lost its third straight game. “Eventually, they kept on scoring. It was good to take those leads, but you’ve got to be able to hold them at some point.”
The White Sox hitters held up their end of the bargain, scoring four times in six innings against Corey Kluber (9-6), one of the five nominees for the American League All-Star final vote.
Adrian Nieto and Adam Eaton both drove in runs with doubles, while Leury Garcia had an RBI groundout.
Dunn hit his 14th home run of the season. It was his 100th homer with the White Sox and No. 454 in his career, which ranks 35th all-time.
Noesi, though, surrendered six runs and seven hits in just 4 1/3 innings to fall to 7-22 in the majors.
“Every inning, I try to do the best I can for myself and for my team, but sometimes, you can’t help what happens,” said Noesi, who pitched for Seattle and Texas earlier this season. “We’re not perfect, so we make mistakes. Sometimes, one little play can change things.”
The White Sox thought they had escaped the fifth with a 4-3 lead when Asdrubal Cabrera was called out on a stolen base attempt. Indians manager Terry Francona initiated a replay challenge, which showed that shortstop Alexei Ramirez failed to tag Cabrera before he reached second base.
Chisenhall returned to the plate with a 1-2 count and singled home Cabrera, then scored on Swisher’s drive into the trees in center field.
“It was a quick play, and he made a good slide,” Ramirez said through an interpreter. “I didn’t have time to think, I just went for the tag. That’s baseball. You’ve got two teams that want to win, so those things happen.”
Andre Rienzo followed Noesi, allowing one run in 1 1/3 innings, while Eric Surkamp and Daniel Webb combined for two scoreless frames.
Chicago’s final 10 batters were retired in order by Kluber, John Axford, Bryan Shaw, and closer Cody Allen.
“When you have 30-some starts, there are going to be times when it’s a struggle to get through it,” Kluber said. “You have to keep your team in the game. The important thing is we got a win.”
White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham, who is 1 for 30 (.033) over his last seven games, was given the day off. Garcia started in his place and went 0 for 3.
Beckham has been the subject of trade speculation, which Ventura believes is affecting his focus at the plate.
“When you hear trade rumors, it can bother people enough to make it a distraction,” Ventura said. “It seemed like Gordon needed a break.”
NOTES: Dunn has the second-most home runs among active players, trailing Albert Pujols’ 512. ... White Sox RHP Matt Lindstrom (left ankle) is making progress, but won’t be activated in the near future, according to Ventura. Lindstrom has been on the 15-day disabled list since May 20. ... Chicago’s first-round draft pick, LHP Carlos Rodon, signed a contract before the game that included a bonus of $6,582,000. ... White Sox RHP Scott Carroll (3-5) takes on Indians RHP Zach McAllister (3-4) in the second game of the three-game series Saturday.