White Sox 7, Tigers 5

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CHICAGO (AP)—Mark Buehrle had lost nine straight decisions earlier this year when he went to White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper with some suggested changes.

“He said, ‘No, stay with what you’re doing. You won 19 games last year. You’re not throwing the ball that bad,”’ Buehrle said.

The Chicago lefty listened. And now, he has won a career-high six straight decisions following Friday night’s 7-5 victory over Detroit.

“It’s good we didn’t go out there and change anything,” Buehrle said. “We just kept on battling.”

Buehrle (8-10) gave up 10 hits and four runs, one earned, while striking out five and walking one in 6 2-3 innings.

“He’s pitching extremely well,” said White Sox manager Jerry Manuel, who before the game said he thought Chicago could sweep its remaining six games against Detroit. “I thought there were times earlier this season when he pitched well but it was just hard luck for him. For the most part, he’s been very consistent.”

Paul Konerko had a homer and two RBIs and Carlos Lee drove in three runs for the White Sox, who jumped out to a 5-0 lead before holding off the Tigers.

Konerko, a 2002 All-Star who has been in a year-long funk, went 2-for-4, raising his average from .198 to .203. Over his last six games, he’s 9-for-22.

“I just tried to be patient as best I could,” Konerko said of his slump. “But I’m not out of the woods yet. I’m still working. I’m still figuring things out.”

Detroit starter Matt Roney (1-4) gave up five runs and nine hits in five innings.

Lee hit a sacrifice fly in the third to open the scoring, and Chicago scored two more that inning on RBI singles by Magglio Ordonez and Konerko.

A sacrifice fly by Roberto Alomar in the fourth made it 4-0, and Konerko hit his sixth homer an inning later—a solo shot on a 3-2 pitch.

Detroit, which lost for just the second time in eight games against Chicago, didn’t go quietly. Craig Monroe and Shane Halter both singled to start the seventh, and one out later, Monroe scored on Jose Valentin’s error.

Halter scored on Matt Walbeck’s groundout, and Alex Sanchez hit a two-run double to chase Buehrle later in the inning.

In the bottom of the eighth, Lee hit a two-run double to make it 7-4, and the White Sox would need the insurance runs when Carlos Pena led off the ninth for Detroit with a homer off Damaso Marte.

Tom Gordon came on for Chicago and got three outs for his fourth save.

“I thought we had a chance if we could’ve kept it at 5-4, but of course we let a couple slip away,” Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. “I think we actually played a sloppy game. We weren’t real sharp today.”

The two teams were playing one day after waiting out a rain delay of over three hours. Thursday night’s game—a 10-9 Detroit win—ended at about 1:30 a.m. CDT.

Notes

Detroit’s Ben Petrick, acquired Sunday in a trade with the Colorado Rockies, got his first start and went 0-for-3. … The White Sox have hit 17home runs in their last five home games.

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