Foulke's impromptu appearance was just part of a bizarre eighth inning that saw the Indians score seven runs en route to an 8-2 victory over the White Sox.
Chicago manager Terry Bevington wore a path to the mound in the eighth, using five pitchers, and the White Sox ended up deploying nine pitchers overall to tie a major league record for a nine-inning game.
"I didn't know what was going on. I was as clueless as everybody else," said Foulke. "It's a sticky situation and let's leave it at that. ... I was surprised. He told me he wanted me to walk one guy and I said, 'OK I can do that."'
The Indians had already scored two runs to tie the game and Foulke did his job _ walking Matt Williams intentionally to load the bases _ and was replaced by Matt Karchner .
But Karchner, supposedly given more time to warm up because Foulke came in unprepared, gave up a two-run single to Sandy Alomar, an RBI single to Marquis Grissom and a two-run double to Omar Vizquel.
"For the White Sox it was the inning from hell," said Cleveland manager Mike Hargrove, whose team now leads Milwaukee and the Sox by 7 1/2 games in the AL Central.
"(Walking Williams) was his (Bevington's) only way out of the jam," added Hargrove, who came out of the dugout and checked with home plate umpire Ted Hendry to make sure Foulke only got his eight allotted warmup pitches from the mound.
"We wanted to buy time for Karcnher by having Foulke walk Williams. Karchner needed a little time to get loose," Bevington explained.
"I wouldn't say anybody did a poor job."
As he was in the on-deck circle, Williams said: "I looked to the bullpen and nobody was up. He motioned to the bullpen and then you got to bring somebody in."
Sox shortstop Ozzie Guillen didn't see anybody in the bullpen, either, but was told by second base umpire Dan Morrison that the Sox had to change pitchers after Bevington made the motion.
"I didn't think we had anybody up. Mistakes are part of the game. You are a human being," Guillen said.
Chicago starter Jaime Navarro had allowed just two hits in 6 1/3 innings before he was yanked after walking Thome in the seventh. The White Sox still had a a 2-0 lead entering the eighth before the Indians loaded the bases with one out on singles by Omar Vizquel, Richie Sexson and Manny Ramirez.
Thome, facing Tom Fordham, Chicago's third reliever of the inning, hit a check-swing bouncer to the hole at short for an infield hit. Vizquel scored to make it 2-1 and the Indians tied it on David Justice's sacrifice fly.
"Weird inning," said Thome.
Tony Castillo started the eighth for the Sox and was followed by Jeff Darwin (0-1), who allowed Ramirez' single, Fordham, Foulke and Karchner.
Al Levine gave up Thome's 40th homer in the ninth.
White Sox third baseman Robin Ventura said he was also baffled when Foulke was brought in and agreed it was a strange inning.
"I can't think of another one, none pops to mind," Ventura said.
"I usually can't see the bullpen. I didn't see anyone and I didn't know what was going on," he said.
Paul Shuey (4-1) pitched a scoreless seventh for the victory.
The White Sox scored in the first on Ray Durham's lead off double, a sacrifice and Frank Thomas' RBI single off starter Bartolo Colon.
Magglio Ordonez singled and stole second in the second, scoring on Ozzie Guillen's RBI double.
Colon gave up seven hits in six innings.
Notes: The last time an American League team used nine pitchers in a
nine-game was 1949 by St. Louis against Chicago in the first game of a
doubleheader. ... Carlton Fisk became the eighth White Sox player to
have his number retired by the team, during a pregame ceremony. Also on
the list are Nellie Fox, Harold Baines, Luke Appling, Minnie Minoso,
Luis Aparicio, Ted Lyons, Billy Pierce. ... The Indians won the season
series between the rivals 7-5. ... Cleveland second baseman Bip Roberts
had to leave the game in the sixth inning after straining his left
hamstring while going for a ground ball. ... Thome homered in three of
four games in the series.