White Sox 5, Tigers 4

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DETROIT (AP)—Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen wasn’t concerned about Darin Erstad’s slow start.

Erstad then went out and proved his manager right with a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning that lifted Chicago to a 5-4 win over the Detroit Tigers.

The 12-year veteran has struggled in his first year with the White Sox, hitting only .185, after going 2-for-5 on Friday night.

“When you’re battling, you’ve just got to keep grinding and find a way, however you can,” said Erstad.

Juan Uribe and Tadahito Iguchi homered for Chicago and helped Nick Masset (1-0) earn his first major league victory. Masset allowed one hit in 1 1-3 innings.

David Aardsma, Matt Thornton, and Mike MacDougal combined to retire six in a row in the seventh and eighth innings, and Bobby Jenks pitched the ninth for his fifth save in six opportunities.

“Since the season started, the bullpen has done a tremendous job,” said Ozzie Guillen.

Jenks gave up a double to Placido Polanco with two outs, who advanced to third on a wild pitch. But he struck out Gary Sheffield looking to end the game.

“I felt I had worked the count to 3-2,” said Sheffield. “But he called a strike, and there’s nothing I can do about it.”

He is also off to a slow start with a new team, with only a .125 average with a home run and 5 RBIs.

“He’ll get it going. You have to remember, he didn’t play a lot last season,” said Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland. “It’s been cold, too. He’ll get it going. We’re not hitting throughout our lineup, and obviously, Gary’s one of the guys who’s not hitting at all.”

With the game tied 4-4, Rob Mackowiak led off the seventh with a single and was sacrificed to second. Erstad followed with a single to center off Jason Grilli (0-1).

“Darin gets up there and has good at-bats all the time,” said Mackowiak.

White Sox starter John Danks gave up four runs and six hits in 4 2-3 innings. He walked three and struck out four.

Tigers starter Chad Durbin lasted five-plus innings, allowing four runs and six hits.

After Durbin retired the first eight Chicago batters, Uribe sent a 2-0 pitch just over the left-field fence and the glove of a leaping Craig Monroe for his fourth home run of the season.

The lead didn’t last long because Brandon Inge led off the bottom of the third with his third homer.

Chicago took a 2-1 advantage on Iguchi’s leadoff homer in the fourth inning.

Detroit went ahead 4-2 in the sixth inning when they scored three runs. Carlos Guillen had a two-run double and scored on Magglio Ordonez’s double.

The White Sox tied it on an RBI single by Paul Konerko. Chicago loaded the bases with one out, but Joe Crede popped out to second baseman Polanco in short right, who then threw home to double off Jim Thome.


Detroit placed RHP Jose Mesa on the 15-day disabled list because of a pulled right groin and recalled RHP Aquilino Lopez from its Triple-A affiliate in Toledo to replace Mesa on the roster. It was Mesa’s first time on the disabled list since 1991. … White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle had a little fun with Rodriguez when the catcher caught Jermaine Dye’s foul pop in the second, in front of the Chicago dugout and Buehrle. Rodriguez’s glove was right at the top railing when he caught it, and Buehrle then tried to take the ball out of Rodriguez’s glove. Rodriguez pulled back his glove and slapped at Buehrle’s hands as both players laughed. … The game was played before an announced sellout of 40,685.

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