CHICAGO -- Detroit Tigers second baseman Omar Infante hit a two-out RBI single in the eighth inning to break a scoreless game and Joaquin Benoit picked up his 18th save in as many chances with a perfect ninth in a 1-0 win Wednesday against the Chicago White Sox.
Infante's game-winning hit to left field just got past a diving Alexei Ramirez at shortstop, scoring Prince Fielder from second base to give the Tigers (84-62) the lead against reliever Matt Lindstrom (2-4). It came one inning after Detroit had Infante on third with one out but couldn't drive him in.
Chicago (58-87) forced Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez out of the game in the eighth after Jordan Danks (single) and Ramirez (walk) reached base. Relievers Jose Veras and Drew Smyly struck out Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn, respectively, to preserve the Tigers' lead. Sanchez (14-7) didn't surrender a run in 7 1/3 innings, giving up five hits. He also walked four and struck out 10, his fourth double-digit strikeout performance of the season. With the win, the Tigers extend their lead in the American League Central to six games over second-place Cleveland.
White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana bounced back from a rough first inning, tossing seven shutout innings while allowing five hits, striking out six while walking two batters. Despite the strong outing, Quintana picked up his major league-leading 17th no-decision as the White Sox failed to score.
Quintana needed 33 pitches to retire the Tigers in the first inning.
He struck out Austin Jackson to start the game, but the next three Detroit batters reached base. After Torri Hunter singled to center field, Quintana got ahead 0-1 in the count against Miguel Cabrera. Quintana then threw 10 consecutive balls to walk Cabrera and Prince Fielder, loading the bases with one out.
Victor Martinez popped out. On a full-count fastball, Quintana struck out Nick Castellanos to escape the bases-loaded situation.
Quintana settled down as the game progressed -- retiring nine of 10 batters he faced following Alex Avila's double in the second.
NOTES: Detroit Tigers SS Jhonny Peralta, serving a 50-game suspension, joined the team Wednesday and hopes to make his case to be on Detroit's playoff roster. Peralta, who is eligible to return Sept. 27 for the Tigers' final three regular season games, owns a .305 batting average with 11 home runs and 54 RBIs this season. Peralta had been working out in the Dominican Republic to stay in shape. "I'm here to help the team in whatever position I can be at," Peralta said. "It's good to be here and I'll try to enjoy the game." ... Despite a 12-11 record and 3.64 ERA -- a full point higher than last year's -- manager Jim Leyland believes 30-year-old RHP Justin Verlander will be OK. "I don't think he's nearly gotten to the point yet where he has to figure out another way to get guys out," Leyland said. "His stuff is still electric stuff." ... White Sox manager Robin Ventura plans to give INF Leury Garcia and Marcus Semien plenty of playing time in the final weeks of the season to help gauge their roles. Garcia started at second base and hit lead off while Semien started at third base in place of Conor Gillaspie, who committed three errors in Wednesday's game before getting replaced in the seventh inning.