DETROIT -- It makes Detroit that much tougher to beat when Victor Martinez heats up behind All-Stars Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder in the Tigers' lineup.
Cabrera had three straight singles good for an RBI, Fielder hit a two-run home run plus an RBI single and Martinez had three singles that drove in one run Wednesday night in Detroit's 8-5 victory over Chicago.
The Tigers have now won seven of their last nine while the White Sox have dropped five out of six.
"When Victor starts hitting like he is now, that's pretty good when you have him hitting behind Miguel and Prince," said Rick Porcello (6-6), who put up his 10th start in which he's gone at least six innings while allowing three runs or less. Porcello didn't walk a batter and struck out six in his six innings of three-run ball.
Dylan Axelrod (3-6) lasted 5 2/3 innings for Chicago but was touched for 11 hits and seven runs.
"He wasn't as sharp as we've seen him," manager Robin Ventura of the White Sox said. "They squeeze you and make you throw it over the plate.
"If you're not sharp, they're good hitters and they squeeze you. Everything was going the other way (opposite field). They made solid contact."
"We did a good job of taking what was there," manager Jim Leyland of Detroit said.
Martinez has a 12-game hitting streak that has lifted his average to .254, Cabrera now has 93 RBIs with four more games until the All-Star break, and Fielder's three-RBI game, which included his 16th home run, put him at 69 RBI.
Porcello gave up a solo home run to Conor Gillaspie, his seventh, in the second inning and two in the fourth on an RBI single to Dayan Viciedo and a sacrifice fly to Gordon Beckham.
Beckham also smacked a changeup from rookie Bruce Rondon for a solo home run in the seventh. Alexei Ramirez scored a run-scoring double off Rondon.
Drew Smyly worked a 1-2-3 eighth and Joaquin Benoit made it eight saves in eight tries despite walking two in the ninth.
"I didn't really feel comfortable with my fastball command," Porcello said. "But after the fourth I was able to get back to doing what I've done well this season, which is keeping the ball down and throwing my breaking ball over the plate."
Porcello was able to pitch because he was appealing a six-game suspension he was hit with for hitting Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist with a pitch in his previous start.
It would not be surprising to see Porcello drop the appeal Thursday because he would not be likely to pitch either of the first two games following the All-Star break. Add in the four games Detroit has left before the break and Porcello really would not miss a start, which would thwart the design of the six-game suspension.
Alex Avila waited on a breaking ball and then drove a flat 3-2 curve into right for a two-run single in the third inning as Detroit piled up a 5-1 lead. Austin Jackson hit an RBI triple in the second as the Tigers scored all their runs with two out.
NOTES: American League All-Star skipper Leyland seems inclined to play most of his starters more than the minimum three innings. "Why would you play them three innings and the substitutes six?" Leyland asked. "Does that make sense? I'm going to play (3B Miguel Cabrera). I'm not going to play him nine innings, but I'm going to play him. I'm going to play him more than three innings, I can tell you that right now." ... Chicago C Tyler Flowers returned to the White Sox' starting lineup Wednesday after rookie C Josh Phegley was brought up and caught the last three games. Phegley went 0-for-5 Tuesday night. "My job is to worry about being as prepared as I can whenever I get in the lineup and help the team win. That's really all I'm focused on," Flowers said. He was 0-for-3, striking out twice, to sink his average to .202. ... The balky back that has bothered Cabrera over the last week isn't serious. "I think it will get better even though he's playing," Leyland said. "I think the All-Star break will do him some good. I don't think he'll be going through this all year long." ... All-Star reliever Jesse Crain of the White Sox threw Tuesday for the first time since attempting to warm up July 2 and suffering a right shoulder strain. He threw lightly some 20-30 times from distances of 40-50 feet. "It's going to be a day-to-day process to see how it feels," Crain said.