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DET@CWS: Sale dazzles over eight terrific innings

All year, it seems, the White Sox have been on the tracks while the Tribe train is coming through.

The railroad schedule hasn't changed much in September, with Cleveland attempting to propel itself into the postseason for the first time since 2007. Including the Indians' 8-1 win at U.S. Cellular Field on Saturday night, the Tribe is 14-2 against the White Sox this season.

Cleveland has won 11 straight meetings and will look to sweep its third consecutive four-game series from the White Sox on Sunday. Right-hander Zach McAllister (7-9, 4.11 ERA) is scheduled to pitch for the Indians, opposite Chicago's Chris Sale (11-12, 2.90 ERA).

The Tribe's continued pursuit of an American League Wild Card spot has come at the expense of the White Sox, who have lost five straight games.

"It becomes difficult," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "It's about winning games and right now we're not going to the playoffs. That's not the fun part. However, there are worse jobs you could be doing right now. There's a lot worse things that could be going on."

Ventura might prefer to focus on the positives, but he must be envious of Cleveland's current position. The Indians enter Sunday just 1 1/2 games out of a Wild Card position, behind Texas and Tampa Bay.

The Indians have beaten Sale all three time they've seen him this season. In those starts, Sale has an 8.31 ERA, having surrendered 25 hits and 16 runs across 17 1/3 innings.

McAllister, meanwhile, is 0-2 in his last three outings, during which he has an 8.78 ERA across 13 1/3 innings.

Indians: Bullpen management key for Tribe
• In September, a manager's decisions are scrutinized more so than at any other point in the regular season. Cleveland skipper Terry Francona is well aware of the stakes, and with an expanded roster that features 15 men in the bullpen, he has found himself wanting to enlist relief help before it might actually be necessary.

"It's something that I really fight," Francona said. "I think that when you don't give your starter a chance as long as their stuff looks OK, I think you're just asking for trouble. You can overmanage in September, I think, and get yourself in trouble."

• Cleveland has hit five home runs during this series. Asdrubal Cabrera has left the yard twice, while Nick Swisher, Ryan Raburn and Lonnie Chisenhall each have once.

White Sox: Veterans carry positive influence
• Adam Dunn wasn't in the starting lineup on Saturday, and Ventura said Paul Konerko would probably get the day off on Sunday. Though the team's veteran players don't necessarily contribute on a day-to-day basis, the examples they provide can be invaluable for Chicago's younger players.

"I think the younger guys learn as much from the players they're around than they do from us telling [them] what to do," Ventura said. "When you see a Paul Konerko work or an Adam Dunn work, you're seeing the amount of work that goes in and how they go about their business and how they treat each other, what it takes. That doesn't change."

• In 27 starts, Sale has racked up 207 strikeouts over 195 2/3 innings, with both of the latter totals setting new career highs.

Worth noting
• The last time Cleveland won 14 games against the White Sox was 1952, when the Indians won the season series, 14-8. After Sunday, the two clubs have just two meetings remaining, on Sept. 24-25 in Cleveland.

• Last year, the White Sox finished the season by taking two out of three from the Tribe at home. They haven't won a series against the Indians since then. Comments