CLEVELAND – Mark Buehrle pitched seven strong innings to get back on the winning track, and the Chicago White Sox beat the Cleveland Indians 7-5 Saturday for their third straight victory.

Making his first start since earning the win as the American League’s starter in Tuesday’s All-Star game, Buehrle (11-3) gave up two runs and three hits, striking out six without a walk.

Aaron Rowand had three hits and scored three times as Chicago improved to 9-3 against Cleveland and 29-5 against the AL Central.

Aaron Boone had two RBIs for the Indians, who have scored only six runs in the series and lost for the eighth time in nine games. The Indians scored only three times in the first 26 innings of the series before getting three runs in the ninth.

Cleveland pulled within 7-5 on Grady Sizemore’s two-run single off Damaso Marte. But Marte got Coco Crisp to ground out with two men on for his third save of the season.

Buehrle won for the first time in three starts. The left-hander was in command except for hitting two batters with pitches – the only men he has hit in 143 innings this season.

With two outs in the first inning, Buehrle hit Travis Hafner in the right cheek with a breaking pitch. Hafner had some bleeding, said he felt dizzy and was taken to a hospital for observation. The Indians announced that Hafner will be examined by a dentist.

Cleveland starter Jake Westbrook (6-12) hit Jermaine Dye in the left knee with a pitch with two outs and none on in the second. Plate umpire Bruce Dreckman issued warnings to both benches, but it was Westbrook who paid the price when Dye stole second and scored on a double by Joe Crede.

Buehrle hit Casey Blake in the right knee with a pitch to start the fifth, but there were no other incidents. Blake went to third on a double by Ronnie Belliard, and Boone and Josh Bard had run-scoring groundouts to get Cleveland within 6-2.

Westbrook lost his third straight start after a four-game winning streak. The right-hander allowed six runs – four earned – in five innings.

Rowand singled with two outs in the third and scored on a double into the left-field corner by Carl Everett. Paul Konerko then doubled off the wall in left to score Everett for a 3-0 lead.

A.J. Pierzynski and Dye drove in runs in Chicago’s three-run fifth when an error by second baseman Belliard helped the White Sox score two unearned runs.

Pierzynski had an RBI double to make it 7-2 in the seventh. Boone had an RBI single in the ninth.

Notes: There was a 30-minute rain delay in the top of the ninth. … Buehrle pitched at least six innings for the 47th consecutive time, the longest streak by a White Sox pitcher since RHP Jack McDowell’s 48-game streak from July 4, 1992 to Sept. 6, 1993. … Cleveland put RHP Matt Miller on the 15-day disabled list with tightness in his right forearm. … RHP Kazuhito Tadano was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo and gave up one run over four innings in relief of Westbrook. … Chicago SS Juan Uribe went 0-for-4 and is hitless in his last 18 at-bats. … The White Sox are 5-1 at Jacobs Field and 30-14 on the road.

AP-ES-07-16-05 1648EDT


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