CHICAGO — The Cleveland Indians almost wasted a great chance to grab the lead in the seventh inning Saturday.
Then Ryan Raburn came to the plate and did what he usually does against the Chicago White Sox.
Raburn hit a tiebreaking single and David Murphy drove in four runs, leading the Indians to a 12-6 victory over the White Sox.
“It’s a team win,” Raburn said. “Just to be able to be in that position to help us out, I mean, that’s a tribute to our team putting us in that position.”
Murphy, Nick Swisher and Jason Kipnis homered for Cleveland, which snapped a three-game losing streak. Murphy added a bases-loaded triple in a four-run ninth against Donnie Veal.
The Indians improved to 18-4 against the White Sox since the beginning of last season, overcoming another shaky start by Justin Masterson. They will try for a split of the four-game series today.
“It was a long day of good at-bats and we needed them,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
Adam Eaton had two hits, including his first homer, and walked twice for the White Sox, who have scored five or more runs in nine of their 12 games this season.
“We’re going up there with an approach and trying to execute the approach,” Eaton said. “It will come around and we’ll be just fine. I love seeing the fight.”
Alexei Ramirez’s nifty slide past catcher Carlos Santana tied it at 6 in the fifth, but Raburn put the Indians ahead to stay with a two-run single in the seventh.
The Indians loaded the bases with one out against Ronald Belisario (1-1) and Scott Downs. Daniel Webb came in and got Asdrubal Cabrera to foul out, but Raburn followed with a bouncer into center field to make it 8-6.
“They got a chance to wiggle out of that with a tie game at home and Raburn smacks that ball up the middle and gives us the lead,” Francona said. “That was huge.”
Raburn, who began his career with Detroit, has a .301 batting average, 17 homers and 72 RBIs in 97 career games against Chicago.
“This is one of those places, I feel pretty comfortable up there,” he said. “I’ve faced these guys so many times you kind of get a knack for what they’re trying to do, but you’ve still got to put the bat on the ball.”
Raburn’s big hit handed a win to Josh Outman, one of four relievers who shut down the White Sox after Masterson labored through 4⅔ innings. Outman (2-0), Bryan Shaw, Cody Allen and John Axford combined for 4⅓ innings of one-hit ball.
Masterson was charged with six runs, five earned, and seven hits in his first start since he lasted just 3⅔ innings against Minnesota last Sunday. The right-hander also walked five to go along with seven strikeouts.
“I was decently happy with the way things took place as far as how I felt when I let go of the ball,” Masterson said. “Sometimes after letting go of the ball, the things I can’t control, they got me a little bit.”
Masterson dominated the White Sox last year, going 4-0 with a sparkling 0.83 ERA in 32⅔ innings.
Chicago right-hander Felipe Paulino also had a rough start, allowing six runs and six hits in five innings.
“I’ve been fighting a lot executing my pitches (the) last couple of games,” Paulino said. “But I miss a lot of spots. ... My slider comes sometimes, but I’m looking for consistency.”
Francona won a replay challenge after Nyjer Morgan was picked off in the first, leading to three runs. The overturned call put Morgan back at first base, and he eventually scored on Michael Brantley’s two-run single. Cabrera added a run-scoring groundout.
Eaton’s homer gave the White Sox a 5-4 lead in the second. Cleveland went back in front when Swisher and Kipnis connected in the fifth. It was the first set of back-to-back homers for the Indians this season.
Indians OF Michael Bourn (strained left hamstring) will play another rehab game with Double-A Akron today. “I think he’s feeling pretty good. I think the last thing is being able to get to that gear and not having to think about it. That’ll be when he’s ready to go,” Francona said.
* The Indians are off Monday, and Francona said RHP Carlos Carrasco will work out of the bullpen before making his next start Saturday against Toronto. Carrasco allowed five runs and six hits in 4⅔ innings during Friday’s 9-6 loss to the White Sox.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap.
WHO: Cleveland vs. Chicago White Sox
WHERE: U.S. Cellular Field
PITCHERS: Kluber (1-1, 7.71 ERA) vs. Quintana (1-0, 2.77)
TV/RADIO: SportsTime Ohio; WEOL 930-AM, WTAM 1100-AM, WMMS 100.7-FM