White Sox 13, Tigers 9
DETROIT (AP)—For three terrible hours Thursday, Jim Leyland thought he was back at Coors Field.
After looking forward to managing in a pitcher’s park again, Leyland could only wonder what was happening while his Tigers lost 13-9 to the Chicago White Sox.
“The ball certainly carried more today that I would have expected here,” said Leyland, who spent a lot of time at Coors when he managed the Rockies in 1999. “They were flying out of here like ping-pong balls.”
The game set Comerica Park records for hits (38) and extra-base hits (15).
“If this keeps up, they (the Tigers) are going to hit 700 home runs,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said.
Jim Thome homered for the fourth straight game, helping the White Sox sweep the three-game series. They are 10-2 at Comerica since the start of last season.
“We swung the bats really well today,” said Thome, who has 45 career homers against the Tigers. “This was a huge series for us—we knew we had to step it up against them, because they have been playing really well.”
“Sweeping this team, the way they were playing, is tough,” Guillen said. “I think we weren’t playing the game the way we should early, but now we are getting better.”
Despite three hits, including a homer, from red-hot Chris Shelton, the Tigers fell to 5-4 after winning their first five games. Shelton is hitting .514 with a 1.297 slugging percentage.
“We kept battling, but we could never stop the bleeding,” Leyland said. “It wasn’t that we played that badly, but when you don’t get the pitching, you won’t look good no matter what you do.”
Jon Garland (1-1) got the win despite allowing seven runs and 13 hits, tying a career high, in five innings.
“Stuff-wise, it feels like I’m there,” said Garland, who has a 13.94 ERA in two starts. “I don’t know if every hitter in the league is just really good or my location is that bad.”
Chicago took a two-run lead in the first on back-to-back homers by Iguchi and Thome, both of which cleared the bullpens in left-center field. It was the sixth of the season for Thome, who hit seven last year when he struggled with injuries.
The Tigers got a run back in the bottom half on Ivan Rodriguez’s RBI single, but Chicago came back with five runs in the third.
Verlander, who pitched seven scoreless innings in his season debut, gave up seven runs and seven hits in just 2 2-3 innings.
“I didn’t have the stuff I did last time,” the 23-year-old rookie said. “So I knew it was going to be a long day, and I just tried to battle through it.”
Thome drove in a run with a double and scored on Dye’s single to make it 9-1 in the fourth, but the White Sox struggled to put Detroit away.
Shelton hit his major league-leading seventh homer in the bottom of the fourth, cutting the margin to six, and after Cintron’s RBI triple in the fifth, the Tigers scored four runs in the bottom half.
After Magglio Ordonez’s two-run homer, Shelton and Guillen hit back-to-back doubles. Craig Monroe’s single made it 10-7, but he was thrown out to end the inning while trying to advance to second on the play.
Rodriguez’s RBI single cut the deficit to two runs in the sixth, but Young flew out to the warning track to end the inning and Iguchi’s two-run double highlighted a three-run seventh that put the game away.
Verlander’s ERA jumped from zero to 6.52. … Monroe was one of three players thrown out on the bases—Dye was out at second trying to stretch his RBI single in the fourth and Guillen was thrown out at the plate on what looked like an easy triple for Omar Infante. … Garland also allowed 13 hits last Aug. 2 against Toronto. … Infante tied a career high with four hits.