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Tigers prevail with Cabrera on bench

The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- The Detroit Tigers didn't have Miguel Cabrera on Tuesday night, and it didn't matter.

The Tigers beat the struggling Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field for the second straight night, winning 6-2 with the reigning American League MVP watching from the dugout.

"When you don't have (Cabrera) in there, it's obviously a little bit of a hole because nobody can do what he does," said Detroit starter Rick Porcello, who picked up the win by throwing seven shutout innings in his first start since July 10, before the All-Star break. "But everybody pitched in and battled and the guys did a great job putting up six runs."

While Cabrera deals with a hip flexor injury that occurred in Monday's victory, his teammates just kept rolling behind another strong pitching performance. A day earlier it was All-Star Max Scherzer picking up the win in a much anticipated pitching matchup against Sox ace Chris Sale.

This time it was Porcello putting up zeros on the scoreboard after escaping a bases-loaded situation in the first without allowing a run.

Despite walking a season-high three and striking out only one, Porcello (7-6) was impressive -- scattering four hits and throwing an efficient 93 pitches (52 strikes).

"Each inning I went out there I felt a little bit better and better and started to get into a little better rhythm, but the first inning was definitely shaky," he said. "It could've been a lot worse. We were fortunate to get out of it."

Porcello was also backed by Tigers hitters, who scored three runs in the fourth and three more in the sixth for a commanding 6-0 lead. Detroit's attack was aided by Chicago's season-high four errors, which helped spoil White Sox starter Hector Santiago's outing.

Santiago (3-6) allowed six runs in six innings, but only half were earned.

"Against a lineup like that, you just can't play like that and expect to be in the game," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura, who was ejected in the first inning for arguing an interference call against Adam Dunn. "You give them that many opportunities and you're going to pay for it. Even offensively, we had chances and he was throwing a good sinker and you're just beating it into the ground. We weren't helping ourselves either (way)."

It wasn't just the errors and missed opportunities against Porcello. Santiago, for instance, struck out six but walked five and gave up five hits -- including a solo homer by Jhonny Peralta in the sixth. Rookie Hernan Perez also tripled off him that inning and scored because of an error by left fielder Dayan Viciedo.

Peralta went 2-for-4 with the home run and two runs, while Perez went 2-for-3 and drove in a pair of runs for Detroit (55-44).

Paul Konerko hit a two-run double in the ninth for the Sox and Conor Gillaspie finished 2-for-4.

The first-place Tigers have won 12 of their past 18 games since dropping six of 10 between June 21 to July 1.

As for not having Cabrera, Tigers manager Jim Leyland said the only way to deal with it is by keeping stride as best the team can.

"Everybody has problems," he said. "Everybody has injuries and everybody has issues they've got to deal with. We've really had our share this year. That's just part of the equation up here. There's going to be times when guys are hurt or on the DL or guys are hurt enough to where they can't play but not bad enough to go on the DL. You just have to overcome those things."

Chicago (39-58) dropped 15 games back of Detroit in the American League Central and looked bad in the process, with all the walks and errors. Fielding has been a season-long conundrum for the Sox, who fell to 1-13 this year when committing two or more errors. Ventura isn't going to throw his hands up and fly the white flag, though.

"I don't think there's any point you just give up on it," he said. "It's an important part of the game and you've just got to keep harping on it. There's nothing else you can do but keep getting after it."

NOTES: There is no set timetable for Cabrera's return, but Leyland doesn't think a DL stint will be necessary. ... Ventura's ejection was his first of the season and Chicago's second ejection of a coach. ... White Sox RHP Jesse Crain threw off a mound for the first time since being put on the disabled list July 3 with a shoulder strain. Crain threw 33 pitches, a mix of fastballs and changeups, and is tentatively scheduled to throw another side session Thursday. If all goes as planned, Crain might be able to pitch in a game as soon as this weekend. ... Chicago 2B Gordon Beckham missed his third straight game with a sprained wrist and might be headed for the DL. ... Sale apologized to Ventura for his heated reaction Monday night to being instructed to intentionally walk Cabrera. ... The Tigers are close to getting 2B Omar Infante (ankle) back from the DL. He will go on a rehab assignment Wednesday to low Class A West Michigan along with LHP Darin Downs (rotator cuff tendinitis) and might be ready to return this weekend.
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