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Singleton and Brook Fordyce drove in a career-high

By Tom WithersAssociated Press Published: May 25, 1999 12:00 AM

Singleton and Brook Fordyce drove in a career-high four runs apiece Monday night, leading Chicago to a sloppy and slow 10-3 rout of the Cleveland Indians.

Batting eighth in Chicago's lineup, Singleton reached career highs with three hits and four RBIs.

"I don't see myself leading the league in RBIs or anything like that," he said. "It just felt nice to help the team win."

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Last week at Comiskey Park, the Indians scored 13 runs in each game of a three-game series and outscored the White Sox 39-16 in sweeping through Chicago like the wind off Lake Michigan.

But it was Chicago's turn to hit double figures and win for just the second time in eight games, and in doing so handed Dwight Gooden (2-1) his first loss since July 26 of last season.

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"This was big coming against a team that punched us to death at home last week," White Sox manager Jerry Manuel said. "I think this was real important for a young ballclub."

Singleton, acquired during the offseason in a trade with the New York Yankees, went 3-for-5 with an RBI groundout, run-scoring single and two-run double. Fordyce, batting ninth, homered and went 3-for-4.

The White Sox held a hitter's meeting before the game with hitting instructor Von Joshua, who told them to "relax and re-focus on what we did in spring training."

Singleton said the team took the field with a renewed confidence.

"I think there was a calm about us," Singleton said. "Last week was tough for us to lose like that. They caught us when we weren't playing that well. We weren't intimidated and I think tonight we showed we can compete with anybody."

Jim Thome homered for the Indians, who stranded 10 runners in the first four innings and hit into three double plays.

"Bad weather, bad night," Indians manager Mike Hargrove said. "We had the bases loaded three times and did not take advantage. We had a little bad luck."

Much of the game was played in a steady rain and was delayed for 32 minutes in the top of the fourth inning. By the time it ended after 3 hours, 26 minutes, Jacobs Field employees nearly outnumbered the remaining fans.

Rookie reliever Sean Lowe (2-0) allowed one run and four hits in 5 1-3 innings.

"He gave us a chance to win the ballgame and gave us an opportunity to rest the bullpen," Manuel said. "They are obviously a dangerous club and he limited them to one hit."

Gooden had limited the White Sox to one hit in seven innings last week as the Indians won 13-0. But the right-hander didn't make it past the fifth and lost for the first time in eight decisions.

With the Indians scoring 9.4 runs in his previous seven starts, Gooden had not lost since dropping an 8-1 decision to the Tigers last year _ a span of 19 starts.

Fordyce's two-run single off the top of the left-field wall capped Chicago's four-run fifth off Gooden. Carlos Lee doubled in the White Sox's first run in the inning and Singleton brought in another with an infield single.

Gooden said he wasn't aware of his winning streak _ one short of his career-high.

"I didn't know about it until there were two outs in the ninth inning," he said. "It was brought to my attention. I thought there were a couple of losses in there somewhere."

Singleton hit a two-run double in the seventh off Mark Langston to put the White Sox ahead 9-2.

Thome hit his sixth homer leading off Cleveland's seventh.

Chicago starter James Baldwin, rocked for seven runs in two innings last week by the Indians, walked four of the first five batters he faced and fell behind 1-0 on Roberto Alomar's RBI groundout. But the Indians left the bases loaded as Baldwin got Travis Fryman to pop up and struck out David Justice.

The Indians let Baldwin off the hook again in the second, loading the bases but failing to score.

Manuel said he had talked with Baldwin, who is just 2-4 with a 6.32 ERA and told the right-hander to keep plugging away.

"We're going to stay with J.B.," Manuel said. "We'll try to keep encouraging him and show we have confidence in him."

Notes: Following the game, the Indians placed Langston on the 15-day DL with an inflamed left elbow. ... Indians reliever Steve Reed was hospitalized Monday with an infected bursa sac in his left _ non-throwing _ elbow. Reed, second on the Indians staff with 20 appearances this season, had a 103-degree temperature Monday night, Hargrove said. ... Hargrove didn't appreciate Detroit manager Larry Parrish wrestling Indians pitcher Jaret Wright to the ground during Saturday's bench-clearing incident with the Tigers. "It has always been my understanding and belief that managers and coaches are there to calm things down, not exacerbate them," Hargrove said. ... Chicago shortstop Mike Caruso left the game in the third with a bruise in the abdominal area. He was replaced by Craig Wilson.

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