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updated: 5/21/2014 12:42 AM

Bellisario becomes bullpen stopper

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  • Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Ronald Belisario uses the rosin bag between Kansas City Royals batters during the ninth inning of a baseball game Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. The White Sox defeated the Royals 7-6.

      Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Ronald Belisario uses the rosin bag between Kansas City Royals batters during the ninth inning of a baseball game Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. The White Sox defeated the Royals 7-6.
    Associated Press

 
 

Matt Lindstrom is out as the White Sox' closer, at least until his injured left ankle heals.

Ronald Bellisario is in, for now at least.

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It didn't look like the Sox would even need a closer Tuesday night at Kansas City after Adam Dunn's 3-run homer in the eighth inning made it a 7-2 game.

But the White Sox' bullpen, which came with a 17-inning scoreless streak over the last five games, broke down in the bottom of the eighth as Scott Downs and Frank Francisco combined to allow 3 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks before Zach Putnam came on and limited further damage.

Leading 7-5 in the ninth, Bellisario got the call to close even though he threw 2 innings Monday night.

Fortunately for the Sox, Bellisario was very efficient in the series opener against the Royals, throwing only 21 pitches.

And fortunately for the Sox, Bellisario hung tough after allowing a run Tuesday night, striking out Lorenzo Cain with the tying run on second base.

Considering all of the injuries they've been hit with over the first two months of the season -- ace starter Chris Sale and top hitter Jose Abreu are still on the disabled list -- the White Sox (23-24) keep chugging along and they can sweep the series Wednesday after hanging on for a 7-6 win over Kansas City.

As for Lindstrom, he injured the ankle in the ninth inning Monday night trying to field a bunt.

"Injury of the day," White sox manager Robin Ventura told reporters. "We don't know the full extent of it, but we do know it was enough to go on the DL. He wasn't walking very good. His reaction, even walking out there, and his explanation, it's not an Achilles, but usually when someone says it feels like somebody kicked them in the back of the leg, it's usually an Achilles.

"But it's something in his ankle, and we're going to have to figure out what it is. We know he's not going to be with us for at least a couple of weeks."

Javy Guerra replaces Lindstrom after having his contract purchased from Class AAA Charlotte. The right-hander was 1-1 with a 2.33 ERA and 3 saves in 14 appearances with the Knights.

Guerra, 28, spent parts of three years with the Dodgers and was 4-5 with a 2.90 ERA and 21 saves, but he's still trying to make it all the way back from shoulder surgery performed after the 2012 season.

On Tuesday night, the Sox got a very good start from Andre Rienzo, who allowed 2 runs on 5 hits in 6 innings while establishing a career-high with 8 strikeouts.

The Sox also might get Sale back later this week when the Yankees visit U.S. Cellular Field.

Out since April 18 with a strained flexor muscle, Sale pitched 4 scoreless innings in a rehab start for Charlotte Friday and had 11 strikeouts.

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