Rowand hit two home runs, including his first career grand slam, in the White Sox’s 9-2 win over the Tigers on Wednesday, their fourth victory in six games.
“I knew I hit that ball when I got it,” said Rowand, who tied a career high with five RBIs. “Anytime you get a career first, it’s something you can remember, something you can take home and put on the mantle.”
It was the second two-homer game in a week for the 26-year-old outfielder. He hit a pair and drove in four runs in an 8-7 win at Boston on Friday. Rowand has already set career highs this season with 18 home runs and .309 batting average.
Rowand has always done well against the Tigers, batting .380 (35-for-92) in 41 career games. He went 3-for-5 in the White Sox’s 11-8 loss in Tuesday’s series opener and is hitting .516 (16-for-31) with three homers and 12 runs scored in nine games against Detroit this season.
“We found out that Aaron Rowand can certainly hit a fastball,” Tigers manager Allan Trammell said. “He’s a real good-looking player. He’s been a Tiger killer this year.”
Right-hander Jose Contreras won his third straight decision since being acquired from the New York Yankees at the trade deadline. Mike Jackson threw a scoreless ninth to become the ninth pitcher in major league history with 1,000 appearances.
The victory allowed the White Sox to keep pace with the first-place Minnesota Twins, who beat the Yankees 7-2 on Wednesday. Chicago is in third place, five games back in the AL Central.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen returned to the ballpark Wednesday after spending one night in a hospital because of a kidney stone. Guillen completed a two-game suspension Wednesday and should return for the series finale.
Bobby Higginson had an RBI single for Detroit, which is 4-4 on its nine-game road trip.