SPORTS

Associated Press Published:

Richie Sexson drove in a career-high five runs with his second career grand slam and an RBI single as the Indians used an 18-hit attack to beat the Chicago White Sox 13-7 Wednesday night to complete a three-game sweep.

"Really, I'm not that amazed," Sexson said. "On paper, this team can do it any night. It's really not that amazing."

David Justice, Jim Thome and Manny Ramirez each drove in two runs for the Indians, who outscored the White Sox 39-16 and outhit them 48-23 in the series.

"Look at their numbers," losing pitcher Jim Parque said. "Everyone is batting above .300. The ones who aren't are hitting .299.9."

Sexson went 3-for-5, including a grand slam with two outs in the fifth off Bryan Ward. It was his seventh homer of the season.

"Because we score all those runs doesn't mean we'll do it every night," Hargrove said. "Our goal is to score one more than the other guys. If we score one more, that's great. If we score five more, that's great. If we score 10 more, that's great. We don't go out looking to score 13 runs."

Justice hit a leadoff homer in the fifth, his 10th of the season, and added an RBI single in the third for the Indians, who have won 11 of their last 12 games.

Charles Nagy (4-3) gave up only one run and four hits in eight innings, but the White Sox scored six runs in the ninth off Mike Jackson on Jeff Liefer's RBI single, a three-run homer by Carlos Lee and a two-run shot by Brook Fordyce.

Cleveland, which has the majors' best record at 29-10, got its first sweep in Chicago since Sept. 16-18, 1996.

"It was important for us to come in and play well," Hargrove said. "We were able to accomplish that."

The White Sox started this series leading the American League with a 3.86 ERA. It rose to 4.93 after Wednesday's game.

"I wouldn't say we were shell-shocked," White Sox manager Jerry Manuel said. "I would use the term 'humbled.' We are very young and it showed."

Parque (5-3) took the loss, his first in four home games and Chicago's fourth straight. He gave up six runs on nine hits and five walks over 3 2/3 innings.

"It humbles you," Parque said. "If you're a loser, you'll sulk in defeat. We're not losers."

The Indians opened a 3-0 lead in the first on a sacrifice fly by Ramirez, a run-scoring infield single by Thome and an RBI single by Sexson.

Thome hit an RBI double in the third and scored on Justice's single to put Cleveland ahead 5-0.

In the fourth, Lofton scored on a fielding error by centerfielder Chris Singleton, who overran Omar Vizquel's single.

Sexson's slam came in a seven-run fifth inning which also included Justice's leadoff homer and RBI singles by Alomar and Ramirez. Cleveland sent 11 batters to the plate in the fifth.

Notes: Cleveland won the first two games of the series, 13-9 and 13-0. The Indians scored at least 13 runs in three straight games for the first time since 1986 at Milwaukee. ... Home plate umpire John Shulock went into the White Sox dugout during Justice's at-bat in the first inning to ask manager Jerry Manuel to tell the stadium personnel to stop playing music between pitches. ... Sexson's previous RBI high was four, accomplished three times, most recently Aug. 31, 1998 vs. Oakland. ... Catcher Sandy Alomar, placed on the 15-day DL Monday, returned to Cleveland to have his left knee examined by team physicians. "It looks like he'll probably need surgery," said Indians assistant general manager Mark Shapiro. Alomar would be sidelined four to five weeks if he has arthroscopic surgery. ... Cleveland's Wil Cordero did not play because of a bruised heel. ... The Indians have scored at least five runs in 17 of their last 19 games. The Indians improved to 12-2 against AL Central foes.

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