They got a solid effort from their starting pitcher, took advantage of their opponent’s mistakes and gained another game in the division standings.
The Tigers, who have the best record in the majors, allowed four unearned runs and tied a season-high with their fourth straight loss.
“I’m certainly not going to let a four-game losing streak stand in the way or jump ship—I’m going to be there for them,” manager Jim Leyland said.
A White Sox team that was on the verge of falling out of the division race after running neck-and-neck with Detroit the first half of the season won for the fourth time in five games. Chicago will try to complete the sweep Sunday when Freddy Garcia opposes Zach Miner.
“We’re playing good ball again, like we did in the first half,” said closer Bobby Jenks, who retired the middle of the order for his 32nd save in 34 opportunities. “It doesn’t look like anything’s going to change. We’re going to be able to continue that.”
After tying it with three unearned runs in the fifth, the White Sox went ahead 4-3 in the seventh, thanks to Inge’s throwing error and Sandy Alomar’s sacrifice fly.
Jermaine Dye extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a leadoff single, and Inge threw wildly to second trying to start a double play on Joe Crede’s grounder toward third. Dye then scored the go-ahead run on Alomar’s fly to right. Crede took third on the play, but was tagged out after Juan Uribe missed on a suicide squeeze.
Buehrle lasted six innings, allowing three runs and seven hits while striking out a season-high seven and walking none. His last win was June 27 at Pittsburgh.
“I just think the ball’s been landing my way the last couple games,” said Buehrle, who threw 91 pitches. “We’ve won two of my last three starts, so that’s a good sign.”
Reliever Mike MacDougal (1-0) pitched 1 1-3 perfect innings.
Kenny Rogers (11-6) took the loss despite retiring the first 12 batters and holding the White Sox to four hits in seven innings. He allowed four unearned runs, struck out two and did not walk a batter, but he’s 0-3 over his last six starts.
“Everybody is going to come after us, and we know we have to raise our level of intensity to match any other team,” Rogers said.
Although they were 11-15 since the All-Star break, the White Sox were hinting at a turnaround with nine wins in their previous 14 games entering Saturday’s matchup.
With a chance to jump back into the division race, Chicago got off to a good start Friday when Jose Contreras pitched his first shutout.
Early on, Buehrle looked more like the pitcher who earned a spot on the All-Star team than the guy who was 0-6 in his previous seven starts and had seen his ERA leap from 3.22 to 4.89.
He struck out four of the first five batters and seven in the first three innings.
Meanwhile, Rogers kept the White Sox off balance until Paul Konerko singled leading off the bottom of the fifth.
Casey followed with his fifth homer this season and second since being acquired from Pittsburgh at the trade deadline. Inge then singled and scored on Granderson’s double down the right-field line.
But the White Sox tied it with two out in the bottom half after Guillen committed his 21st error, bobbling Sandy Alomar’s grounder to shortstop put runners on first and third.
Konerko scored on Uribe’s double. Brian Anderson tied it at 3 with a two-run single to left and took second on Thames’ error.
Uribe had missed six games with a sore back. … Rogers had won four straight against the White Sox. … Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Justin Verlander tipped his pitches Friday, when he had his worst start of the season. Trying to become the majors’ first 15-game winner, Verlander allowed five runs on a career-high 13 hits in five innings, including two-run homers by Jim Thome and A.J. Pierzynski in the fifth. “They saw something, to their credit. I’m certainly not talking about anyone cheating, that’s not what I’m talking about,” Leyland said.