CHICAGO - It could've been one of those long days for Rick Porcello and the Detroit Tigers.
Instead, Porcello overcame a rough first inning to help the Tigers beat the Chicago White Sox 6-4 on Wednesday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field - avoiding a three-game series sweep by the American League Central's last-place team.
Had the Sox completed the sweep, it would've been their first against Detroit in a three-game series since April 2008 and first at home since August 2006. More importantly, the win snapped a three-game losing streak for the AL Central-leading Tigers (70-49) - who'd dropped four of their previous five games and watched their lead over the second-place Cleveland Indians shrink to six games coming into the day.
Miguel Cabrera hit a home run for the fifth time in the past six games - his 38th of the season and sixth in the past eight contests - to lead the way offensively for the Tigers, who used
a three-run sixth powered by three singles and an error to break a 3-3 tie and spark the come-from-behind win.
Porcello (9-6) gave up three runs (all earned) on four singles in Chicago's first at-bat, but didn't allow another one to score before he left after throwing six innings. Porcello gave up 11 hits, but walked only one, struck out four and stranded runners in every inning. Four Tigers relievers combined to pitch the final three innings, with closer Joaquin Benoit getting two outs in the eighth and three in the ninth - despite the tying runs reaching scoring position - for his 15th save.
John Danks (2-10) started for Chicago and took the loss, going 7 1/3 innings and allowing six runs (four earned) on nine hits and a walk. Danks pitched out of trouble in the first without yielding a run, but gave up singles to Bryan Holaday and Austin Jackson in the third before Cabrera's homer to left field knotted it at 3.
Cabrera's been hobbled while running and fielding by a nagging hip flexor injury, but he didn't take a day off despite playing all 11 innings of a loss on Tuesday night. It's a good thing for the Tigers, who seem content to trade Cabrera's limited capabilities at third and running the bases for his outstanding offensive prowess.
Omar Infante also had a nice day at the plate for Detroit, going 2-for-4 with an RBI single and scoring a run in the sixth - which was his second straight multi-hit performance in just his third game back from a month-long stint on the disabled list.
Five White Sox players logged multi-hit games, led by Gordon Beckham's 3-for-4 performance, but they couldn't get the big hit against Porcello after the first or from Detroit's bullpen in the late innings.
Avisail Garcia went 2-for-5 with an RBI single in the first for Chicago (46-73), which also had Adam Dunn and Jeff Keppinger both go 2-for-4. Alexei Ramirez also went 2-for-5 with an RBI and scored a run for the White Sox, who are heading on a seven-game road trip to Minnesota and Kansas City.
NOTES: Major League Baseball announced that former White Sox star Frank Thomas and former Tigers great Willie Horton will be part of the 2013 Beacon Awards Luncheon Aug. 24 in Chicago prior to the 2013 Civil Rights Game played later that night at U.S. Cellular Field between the Sox and Texas Rangers. This year's Beacon Awards will be presented to former White Sox star Bo Jackson and music great Aretha Franklin. ... LF Dayan Viciedo missed his fifth straight game and seventh in the past nine with a nagging thumb injury, but is expected to return to the lineup relatively soon. ... White Sox SS Alexei Ramirez extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single in the first inning.