White Sox 5, Tigers 2
DETROIT (AP)—The Detroit Tigers made more dubious history.
With a 5-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Saturday night, the Tigers (34-100) joined the 1962 Mets as the only teams in the modern era to lose 100 games before September.
“This really doesn’t hurt any more than the others,” Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. “I know it is a round number, but that doesn’t mean anything to me. We competed and we played pretty well, so it isn’t as painful as a lot of them.”
“We have to keep the blinders on and just worry about ourselves,” manager Jerry Manuel said. “We’ve just got to run our race.”
Mike Maroth (6-19) took the loss and is one defeat from becoming the first pitcher since Oakland’s Brian Kingman in 1980 to lose 20 games in a season. Kingman is reportedly planning to attend Maroth’s next start.
“I really don’t care about 20 at this point,” Maroth said. “I don’t want my next start to be a circus, but that’s probably what’s going to happen. I just have to deal with it.”
Maroth, expected to start again Thursday against Cleveland or Friday in Toronto, allowed five runs on eight hits and two walks in 6 1-3 innings.
“He’s going to make his start—we just aren’t sure when we will be going to a six-man rotation,” Trammell said. “I didn’t think he pitched too badly tonight—I certainly don’t think we have any better options than Mike with a month left in the season.”
Jon Garland (10-10) earned his second win in six August starts, allowing two runs on five hits and four walks in six-plus innings.
“I think his breaking ball has gotten a lot better—I’m seeing a lot of swings and misses from that,” Manuel said. “It has gotten a little bite to it, and that’s been an effective pitch for him lately.”
Garland has 18 strikeouts in his last two starts—his previous season best for back-to-back outings was 11.
“He’s made some kind of adjustment, that’s for sure,” Detroit’s Carlos Pena said. “When he throws the ball, you have no idea if it is going to sink or cut, and that gives him a huge advantage.”
The White Sox took a 3-0 lead in the third. With two outs, Tony Graffanino doubled, Lee walked and Thomas lined his 38th homer into the left-field stands. Thomas has 10 homers in his last 12 games.
“That was just a reaction play,” Valentin said. “I just wanted to get a double play, because we can’t afford to lose. We can’t win every game, but the series are getting bigger. We can’t lose any of those.”
Chicago loaded the bases with none out in the sixth, but Thomas ran through a stop sign and was thrown out at the plate by center fielder Ben Petrick on a shallow fly. Joe Crede then grounded into a forceout to end the inning.
“That hurt us a lot,” Trammell said. “We had just done it to them, and they reciprocated. We had a real chance to get Mike a win there.”
Chicago extended the lead to 5-1 in the seventh, scoring again with two outs. Graffanino tripled, and Lee chased Maroth with a long homer to left.
Ramon Santiago’s RBI single made it 5-2 in the bottom of the seventh.
Paul Konerko’s two hits gave him five straight multihit games for Chicago. … Young’s sixth-inning single extended his hitting streak to a season-best 16 games. … Lee’s 27 homers are a new career high. … Magglio Ordonez was in right field for Chicago, despite leaving Friday’s game in the first inning with a finger injury. … The Tigers need to go 19-9 in their final 28 games to avoid the first 110-loss season in franchise history. … White Sox pitchers struck out 13. … The White Sox sent pitcher Neal Cotts to Double-A Birmingham after the game, but did not immediately replace him on theroster.