White Sox 7, Tigers 5
Crede’s three-run homer highlighted Chicago’s five-run seventh inning and the White Sox went on to a 7-5 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Monday night.
Crede’s 423-foot blast to left field was one of three the White Sox hit in their big inning that started with them trailing 4-1. Chicago has won five straight games since dropping three in a row heading into the All-Star break. It was the team’s 27th comeback win.
“It’s not like we’re sitting on the bench saying, ‘Let’s win this game with eight home runs,”’ said Paul Konerko, who homered to lead off the seventh. “I just think it gets late, we’re down by a few, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going our way. Everybody just takes pride in their own at-bats and you get something going.”
Crede has been bothered by two herniated discs in his lower back, missing a handful of games before the break, but he continues to be a dangerous late-game hitter.
“I don’t know whether it’s just that the concentration level kind of goes up a little bit,” said Crede, who also made several nice defensive plays. “I want to be the guy to get up there in that situation.”
“This kid’s a gamer,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “Only he knows how bad his back is. He told me as long as he can take the pain and go to the field, he will.”
Konerko hit reliever Chris Spurling’s first pitch of the seventh into the left field seats for his 21st homer. One out later, Jermaine Dye doubled and A.J. Pierzynski singled, setting up Crede’s 13th homer. Crede struck out in the fifth inning with those two on.
“We’ve talked about Joe a few times,” Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. “He’s been a Tiger killer.”
Juan Uribe then broke an 0-for-23 slump with another homer to left to end Spurling’s night.
“The only thing I was trying to do right there is get a flyball; first and third with one out, that’s all I’m really looking for,” Crede said. “He hung a slider right there. I saw it and (thought) there’s my flyball if I put enough wood to get it out there. I got more than what I bargained for.”
Spurling (2-1) gave up five runs and five hits in just 1-3 of an inning. He had given up just one home run in 30 innings before Monday, coming in with a 2.10 ERA. His performance ruined a strong start by Sean Douglass, who gave up one run and three hits in six innings, striking out six.
“Sean did an outstanding job,” Trammell said. “He got out of a couple jams.”
Frank Thomas added a solo homer in the eighth, his 12th.
Luis Vizcaino (4-3) got the win, pitching two perfect innings of relief. Cliff Politte allowed Ivan Rodriguez’s eighth homer in the ninth but still earned his first save of the season. Closer Dustin Hermanson is nursing a sore back.
“Hermie is not feeling well, his back is not feeling well,” Guillen said. “If he’s not ready (this week), someone else will be ready. I cannot wait that long.”
Brandon Inge led off the game with a home run and the Tigers added three runs in the fifth in Chicago right-hander Orlando Hernandez’s return from his second stint on the disabled list with an inflamed pitching shoulder.
Hernandez’s first pitch since June 14 landed 371 feet away, with Inge sending his eighth homer to left-center field.
El Duque looked rusty at times, but pitched better than expected, giving up four runs and six hits. He threw 96 pitches in six innings.
“Duque was great,” Guillen said. “Wow. He threw better than we thought. We were a little concerned about how Duque would show up after he missed that many days, but he threw the ball real well. His velocity was pretty good. He left a couple pitches up but I expected that.”
Detroit’s Magglio Ordonez got a mixed reception from the sellout crowd, with cheers drowning out boos in his first at-bat at U.S. Cellular Field after playing in Chicago for parts of eight seasons. The boos gained ground as Ordonez singled twice and walked, extending his hitting streak to 10 games.
Chicago’s Scott Podsednik has a 10-game hitting streak and is batting .299. … The White Sox had their eighth sellout of the season, with an announced attendance of 37,556. … Chicago is 31-5 against the AL Central and 8-1 against the Tigers. The White Sox have won 11 straight games in the division. … Shelton has a 10-game hitting streak. … Inge has four leadoff homers this season. … Thomas tied Joe DiMaggio for 73rd all-time with 3,948 total bases.