Tigers rally to beat White Sox 13-8

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CHICAGO (AP)—The Detroit Tigers finally won a road series, and Johnny Damon(notes) was ready to celebrate.

“I like the fact that we can listen to music on the plane now,” he said.

Damon hit a go-ahead, two-run triple in the eighth inning, Jhonny Peralta(notes) homered twice and the Tigers rallied to beat the Chicago White Sox 13-8 on Sunday.

Miguel Cabrera(notes) and Ryan Raburn(notes) also connected for the Tigers, who won for only the third time in 16 road games. Detroit also snapped a string of 10 straight road series losses dating to a two-game sweep at Oakland in May.

“That’s unbelievable. Now we can say we’re capable of winning on the road,” Damon said. “That’s been our Achilles’ heel all year. It’s good to win a series. Hopefully we can take that momentum into New York.”

The White Sox wrapped up a disappointing 2-4 homestand that opened with them tied with the Twins for the AL Central lead and finished with them three back of Minnesota. Chicago opens a key three-game series against the Twins on Tuesday night at Target Field.

“Very bad. Very bad pitching,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “When we pitch well we’re not hitting and that combination makes for a very poor homestand. We got to prepare better for the next road trip and play better, no doubt.”

Detroit blew a 5-1 lead and starting pitcher Armando Galarraga(notes) and catcher Alex Avila(notes) had to be separated following a heated exchange in the dugout after the first inning. Galarraga called it a “misunderstanding,” and Damon didn’t seem too concerned.

“Dissension breeds winners,” Damon said. “We should have done it earlier.”

Paul Konerko(notes) hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the sixth inning to give the White Sox a 7-5 lead, but the Tigers battled back against a fatigued White Sox bullpen missing closer Bobby Jenks(notes).

Cabrera went deep against Sergio Santos(notes) in the seventh and Detroit added three more in the eighth. Damon had the key two-out hit against J.J. Putz(notes) (5-5), but center fielder Andruw Jones(notes) dropped pinch-hitter Brandon Inge’s(notes) fly ball for a run-scoring error that made it 9-7.

After Jones homered in the White Sox eighth, Detroit put the game away with four runs in the ninth. Peralta went deep against Tony Pena(notes), Don Kelly(notes) had a two-run single and Inge drove in Austin Jackson(notes) with a fielder’s choice.

Putz yielded three runs, two earned, and two hits in the eighth. The struggling right-hander gave up Avila’s two-run homer in the ninth inning of Saturday’s 3-2 loss.

“We’re all behind him,” Konerko said. “I’m sure he is disappointed but there is no worries. Every time he touches the ball I feel good about it.”

Putz pitched in three consecutive games for the first time since July 27-29, 2007. He left without talking to reporters.

The White Sox have lost five of eight at home after a 19-1 stretch at U.S. Cellular Field. They have dropped six of eight overall.

“To be honest with you, the ballclub didn’t have energy today,” Guillen said. “Even though we scored eight runs I didn’t see any energy today in the ballclub.”

Brad Thomas(notes) (5-1) pitched a scoreless seventh for the victory.

Galarraga allowed four runs, three earned, and seven hits in five innings.

After not getting out of the third inning in Tuesday’s loss to the Twins, Freddy Garcia(notes) was tagged for five runs and eight hits in five innings for Chicago.

“This week, I blame myself,” Garcia said. “I pitched terrible. Everybody else. They are pretty positive. I am too, but I have to get into the groove and start throwing the ball better.”

The Tigers led 5-1 before the White Sox scored three times in the fifth and sixth. Alexei Ramirez(notes) hit a tying a single before Konerko’s 29th homer.

NOTES: White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper was ejected in the seventh inning for arguing balls and strikes with plate umpire Jeff Nelson. … Jenks (back spasms) was unavailable. The White Sox will decide on Tuesday if Jenks will be placed on the DL. … Tigers closer Jose Valverde(notes) was unavailable with a strained oblique. He is day to day.

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