It All Starts at the Top Lofton, Durham Spark Sox Past Indians Again

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Byline: Scot Gregor Daily Herald Sports Writer

There were plenty of 1-2 punches in the stands Tuesday night at Comiskey Park.

On Wednesday, the action returned to the playing field.

With White Sox leadoff man Kenny Lofton and No. 2 hitter Ray Durham leading the way, the visiting Indians absorbed a 7-2 beating before a crowd of 15,561.

Lofton continued his torrid early pace, going 3-for-5 with 2 stolen bases and 3 runs scored.

The veteran center fielder has reached base safely in all 14 of the Sox' games this season. Lofton also has scored in 13 straight, and he has an eight-game hitting streak to boot.

"The offense is definitely started by Kenny," Durham said. "When he's on, good things tend to happen. It's a matter of us doing the things behind him when he gets on."

In the White Sox' second straight romp over Cleveland, Durham made sure Lofton's productive evening didn't go to waste.

Durham sparked the Sox to their seventh win in the last eight games by going 3-for-4 and matching his career high with 4 RBI.

"He's had some tremendous at-bats," White Sox manager Jerry Manuel said of Durham. "I haven't really noticed everybody else in the league, but I haven't seen a leadoff hitter with the presence of Kenny Lofton. They're both rolling right now."

Durham expected to be the main beneficiary when Lofton signed a one-year contract with the Sox on Feb. 1.

With an established leadoff hitter in the fold, Durham dropped down one spot in the order and prepared to put up some huge numbers.

So far, the switch-hitting second baseman is batting .385. He also is on pace to knock in 162 runs. …