White Sox 3, Tigers 1
DETROIT (AP)—The Chicago White Sox extended the Tigers’ misery by giving baseball’s extra-base-hit leaders a taste of their own medicine.
All six of the White Sox hits went for extra bases, including three RBI doubles, as Chicago beat reeling Detroit 3-1 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.
Detroit, which had the best record in baseball on July 21, has gone 3-12 since and has lost nine of its last 10.
Gavin Floyd allowed seven singles in six scoreless innings for the White Sox, never allowing a baserunner past second.
“If you’re not playing good and you’re playing a team that is, you’re going to get beat,” Leyland said. “We’re not very good right now and he was certainly a lot better. He had a little better command of his curveball.”
Floyd went 4 2/3 in a no-decision against visiting Detroit July 24, giving up 11 hits, seven runs and five earned runs.
Detroit, which leads the majors with 400 extra-base hits, had only one on Sunday and watched the White Sox win their fourth straight. The Tigers remained a half game behind Cleveland in the AL Central thanks to Minnesota’s 1-0 win over the Indians.
Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said Floyd might stay in the rotation if he fared well against the Tigers, and the right-hander made a strong case for himself.
“If he pitches the way he did today he deserves a shot,” Guillen said of Floyd. “He had the proper mental attitude and did what he was supposed to do. He attacked the zone and made the outs when he needed to.”
“I was able to get my curve over when I needed to and was able to give us a chance to win,” said Floyd, who got his first win in the American League. “I hope that I can build on this.”
Detroit’s Magglio Ordonez homered to dead center off Mike MacDougal in the eighth, his 17th of the year, but Bobby Jenks finished the ninth for his 32nd save in 37 chances. He’s retired 32 straight batters.
Floyd, who started the game with a 10.05 ERA, matched his career-best with six strikeouts and did not walk a batter.
Leyland, who hasn’t had sparkplug designated hitter Gary Sheffield in the lineup since Aug. 1 and has dealt with many holes in his rotation and bullpen in the last 10 days, said he’s pleased with the effort he’s seen from his club but added that Detroit has to cope with its biggest slump of the season.
“We’re just in a funk right now. You just have to play your way through it,” he said. “It really boils down to us not doing things to excite the fans. They’re bored right now and I don’t blame them.
“The manager’s responsible for the performance of the team, and right now I stink.”
Detroit right-hander Jordan Tata (1-1) went five innings and gave up all three runs. He walked four in his second major league start.
Tata, who won his first start July 30 in place of Kenny Rogers, ran into trouble in the second when he gave up consecutive doubles to A.J. Pierzynski and Josh Fields. He loaded the bases an inning later but escaped the jam by getting Jim Thome to ground into a double play.
The White Sox, who trail the Central-leading Indians by 10 games, aren’t giving up.
“This shows how tough this division really is when you can come in a sweep a team as good as the Tigers,” Jim Thome said. “Our offense and pitching are coming around. I hope we can turn it around.”
Tigers designated hitter Sean Casey left the game after being hit in the elbow by Floyd in the third, but X-rays showed no serious injury. Casey, who said he hoped he’d be ready to play Monday against Tampa Bay, said there’s no magic formula for ending the slump.
“This game’s funny,” he said. “This is our first bad streak of the year. You’ll never see anyone in this room go through the motions, but in all facets of the game we’re just not clicking right now.”
Detroit reliever Fernando Rodney, who missed more than a month with right shoulder tendinitis, made his first appearance since June 23 and pitched a scoreless eighth.
The game started 12 minutes late due to early morning showers. … Leyland said Sheffield’s sore right shoulder felt better, but he’s still not sure when he’ll return. … The three-game sweep was Chicago’s first in Detroit since April 10-13, 2006. … Richar hit his first major league triple in the third inning. … Ordonez’s homer extended the Tigers’ streak of games with an extra-base hit to 71.