Despite using eight different pitchers, the Cleveland Indians never trailed while piecing together a 3-1 victory for their 10th consecutive win over the AL Central basement-dwelling Chicago White Sox.
Ryan Raburn, Drew Stubbs and Michael Brantley provided the offense for the Indians by knocking in a run each, and Bryan Shaw (4-3) was given the win after tossing scoreless frames in the fifth and sixth innings.
Starter Danny Salazar fanned nearly every batter that made an out against him, as the young righty struck out nine over 3 2/3 frames. He allowed four hits and walked two in the 78-pitch outing.
Chris Perez stranded runners at first and second in the ninth, securing his 24th save and keeping the Indians within 1 1/2 games of Tampa Bay for the second wild card spot in the American League.
Hector Santiago (4-9) was charged with all three runs over four innings as Chicago dropped its 13th game in 15 matchups with Cleveland this season.
"He's probably a little tired," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura about his starter. "I imagine that's part of it, as far as being able to locate and getting into too much trouble."
Paul Konerko drove in a run for the White Sox, but stranded runners in his last two at-bats, including a pair with his game-ending flyout in the ninth.
The White Sox, with runners on second and third in the seventh, had a chance to draw even with their big sluggers up, but failed to capitalize. Adam Dunn, now mired in a brutal 4-for-51 slump, struck out after going ahead 3-0 in the count against Marc Rzepczynski. Matt Albers then came on to induce Konerko into an inning-ending groundout and keep a 3-1 lead for Cleveland.
The Indians went on top in the fourth, as Asdrubal Cabrera singled to start the frame, swiped second, advanced to third on a fly out and came in to score on Stubbs' soft single into center.
Salazar, in his first season since returning from Tommy John surgery, has been kept on a strict pitch count. He made the most of his outing on Friday, with every Chicago batter who struck out against him going down swinging.
"For the most part, he had really good life on his fastball," said Indians manager Terry Francona. "There's a lot to like, there's going to be a time when he stays out there."
Dayan Viciedo's two-out single prevented him from finishing four innings, but pinch-hitter Josh Phegley stranded two when Nick Hagadone forced him into a groundout.
Santiago was pulled in the fifth with runners at corners and no one out. Jake Petricka came in to fan Carlos Santana, but Raburn ripped a double to left to plate a run. Cabrera was then hit by a pitch to load the bases and Brantley lifted a sac fly to left for a 3-0 cushion.
The White Sox manufactured a run in the bottom of the fifth, with Marcus Semien eventually coming in to score on Konerko's two-out single after originally reaching first on a fielder's choice.