ChiSox cut Tigers' lead to 5½ games

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CHICAGO (AP)—The “Sweep! Sweep!” chant roared through the sold-out stadium, reaching its crescendo as Bobby Jenks caught Curtis Granderson looking at a nasty breaking ball to end the game.

Suddenly, the Chicago White Sox are charging toward first place in the AL Central. And the Detroit Tigers are reeling.

The White Sox completed their jump back into contention on Sunday when they finished off a three-game sweep of the Tigers with a 7-3 victory and moved within 5 1/2 games of the division leaders.

Freddy Garcia won for the first time in six weeks, Alex Cintron drove in three runs and a White Sox team that was a season-high 10 games behind on Monday won its fourth straight.

“We’re going to keep fighting to the end, whether it’s in a ballgame or whether it’s in a pennant race,” said Jermaine Dye, who hit his 31st homer.

The Tigers, still with the best record in the majors, have lost five in a row for the first time this year. Chicago is 9-3 against Detroit this season, with the teams meeting seven more times.

“We got what we deserved this weekend,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.

Detroit’s Ivan Rodriguez had to be restrained by teammate Carlos Guillen after being ejected in the eighth inning. He argued when he was called out on strikes, then charged from the dugout after being tossed by plate umpire Tim Timmons. Rodriguez was ejected for the first time this season.

“We need to refocus again and try to do the things that we did the last couple of weeks,” Rodriguez said.

Jenks relieved with two on and one out in the ninth. He closed for his major league-leading 33rd save in 35 chances.

Cintron tripled and scored in the first and hit a three-run double in the second. He is 13-for-31 with nine RBIs and a game-winning homer against the Tigers this season.

Dye homered leading off the eighth, and Brian Anderson added an RBI single to make it 7-3.

Garcia (11-7) allowed three runs and eight hits, struck out six and walked none in seven innings to earn his first victory since beating Pittsburgh on June 28. He was 0-3 in his previous seven starts.

Tigers starter Zach Miner (7-3) threw 113 pitches in 5 1-3 innings, allowing four runs and five hits.

Miner walked Anderson and Scott Podsednik to load the bases with two out in the second, then hung an 0-2 pitch that Cintron hit halfway up the wall in right for a double to break a 1-1 tie.

The Tigers scored a run in the third and another in the fourth on back-to-back doubles by Craig Monroe and Sean Casey to make it 4-3.

The White Sox added a run in the seventh when Pablo Ozuna—pinch-hitting for Podsednik—singled past a drawn-in infield to drive in Juan Uribe from third with one out.

The Tigers’ Magglio Ordonez had three hits against his former team and just missed a solo homer when he flied to the center-field warning track in the fifth. Guillen had a pair of RBI singles, and Casey had three hits.

Chicago went back to its championship formula in winning two of three against the New York Yankees and taking all three against Detroit: getting clutch hits, taking advantage of mistakes and containing opposing hitters.

Jose Contreras pitched a three-hit shutout on Friday. The White Sox scored four unearned runs in a 4-3 victory and the struggling Mark Buehrle allowed three hits while striking out a season-high seven Saturday.

“We’re not going to go anywhere unless we pitch,” first baseman Paul Konerko said. “Our starting pitchers have a good track record in their careers. … Whatever they weren’t doing the last month or two or the whole season, they’ll probably get back to the way they normally would pitch.”

The Tigers grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first on Guillen’s single up the middle.

The White Sox tied it in the bottom half, but a defense that faltered the previous day saved a big inning.

With runners on second and third and one out, Granderson raced back to snag Paul Konerko’s liner to deep center and hung onto the ball after stumbling. Cintron scored and Jim Thome moved to third. Guillen, whose error led to three unearned runs in the fifth inning on Saturday, then ranged deep into the hole at short and threw out Dye at first to end the inning.

“They have to be tired playing like that everyday,” Cintron said of the Tigers. “Sooner or later, they’re going to have a bad week. They’re going through that right now.”

Notes

Dye extended his hitting streak to 11 with a single to center in the third. … Cintron started at second base and batted second for the White Sox, with Tadahito Iguchi getting the day off. … Guillen committed his American League-leading 22nd error in the fourth inning, when his throw to first after fielding Anderson’s grounder pulled Casey off the bag.

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