CHICAGO -- Reliever Vinnie Pestano, who posted a 2.57 ERA in 70 appearances for the Tribe in 2012, has struggled this season. He went into Sunday's series finale against the White Sox with a 4.19 ERA.
Manager Terry Francona said he thinks Pestano's rehab stint in Triple-A in August, as well as his participation in the World Baseball Classic prior to the season, may have affected his performance.
"I don't know if you can pinpoint one thing," Francona said. "I think the lack of finish on his fastball, and he's tried to find that, and it's probably cost him some location. I know he's frustrated.
"I do think when he was down [at Triple-A rehabbing from tendinitis in his elbow], I don't think that helped. I don't know whether he protected the elbow. I don't know if Vinnie quite even knows. And I don't think the WBC helped. Like we worried about, he geared up awfully fast and that game he threw [in the Classic] he was sitting at 93-94 mph. It's just too early."
Francona added that he's spoken with Pestano and told him that he might not return to form according to his own timeframe, but he's confident the Tribe's eighth-inning setup man will get back to where he was last season.
"I told him last week that this might not come on your timetable," Francona said. "But we'll get there."
Swisher ties switch-hitting home run mark
CHICAGO -- Indians right fielder/first baseman Nick Swisher hit a 430-foot shot into the right-field seats in the ninth inning of Sunday's 7-1 victory over the White Sox for his second home run of the game and 20th of the season.
But that homer had some added significance, as it marked the 13th time in Swisher's career that he homered from both sides of the plate in a single game, tying Mark Teixeira for the Major League record.
"It's pretty cool having a Major League record for something," Swisher said. "Just to be able to have that, especially to be able to share that with Mark Teixeira, who I love dearly. … It's rare that you feel good on both sides of the plate at the same time."
Swisher added that while it's been a difficult year for him, dealing with a shoulder injury and struggles at the plate, he's happy to be able to help the team during a playoff race.
"For me, it's been kind of a crazy year," Swisher said. "I've been trying to keep grinding away and doing whatever I can to help the team. If that means hitting a couple of home runs here and there, I'm all for it."
Chisenhall getting back on track at right time
CHICAGO -- Lonnie Chisenhall has struggled at the plate this season, particularly in the second half. But he seems to have found his swing of late, and he says it couldn't come at a better time.
"I want to be playing well and I want the team to be playing well," Chisenhall said. "We're in a good situation right now. We've got like two weeks left and we're close to making the playoffs, and that's where we want to be. You've got to be hot at the right time."
Chisenhall -- who has been used as a platoon player with Mike Aviles at third base -- went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer in the Tribe's 8-1 win over the White Sox on Saturday night, and going into Sunday's series finale with Chicago, he was 8-for-23 (.348) for the month of September.
"The past two or three weeks, I've felt better in the box," said Chisenhall, who is hitting .229. "To do something to help our team win or propel us forward, [the homer Saturday] was a big hit for me. … It's been frustrating for me this year. I made some small adjustments at the plate that haven't worked, but right now I feel like I have something good going and I'm going to try to continue to do that."
Tribe manager Terry Francona said that he sees a bright future ahead for the 24-year-old.
"He sits down there in the eight- or nine-hole, and if you get a three-run homer out of that spot, that's huge," Francona said. "We're trying to mix winning and developing young players, and sometimes he gets platooned with a little bit, but I see a day when he's out there every day. It may not be today or tomorrow, but we're trying to win and develop at the same time."
Ramirez offering energy boost off the bench
CHICAGO -- Indians manager Terry Francona has been impressed with the play of rookie Jose Ramirez.
The 20-year-old infielder had a pinch-hit triple and scored a run in the Tribe's 8-1 victory over the White Sox on Saturday night, and going into Sunday's series finale with Chicago had been 3-for-9 with five runs scored since making his big league debut on Sept. 1.
"That was a good at-bat [Saturday] night," Francona said. "I think he's come as advertised. … The game is not going too fast for him. He played a lot of winter ball last year and those games are pretty high intensity, so I think that's a big part of some of our comfort level.
"You worry sometimes about bringing up a young player and if they have of a tough time. … If anything, we've seen it's to the contrary [with Ramirez]."
Francona added that Ramirez's speed and style of play helps in September, when some everyday players may be a little run down.
"He gives you a pretty good effort, and he gets after it," Francona said. "This time of year, he's got an extra step where maybe some guys are dragging a little bit."
• Though he had been limited due to injuries, in the seven games Ryan Raburn played from Aug. 13 to Saturday's victory over the White Sox, the Indians were 6-1, and he batted .444 (8-for-18) with four doubles, three homers and 15 RBIs.
• Entering Sunday, the only other team in the Majors with an active win streak against a single opponent that matched the Indians' 11 straight against the White Sox was a team they are chasing in the Wild Card standings. Tampa Bay began the day with an 11-game streak of its own against Minnesota before losing at Target Field.
The Tribe's 12-game streak against the White Sox is its longest against a single opponent since it won 13 in a row against Detroit from May 1996 to May 1997.
Manny Randhawa is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.