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White Sox score three runs in seventh to defeat Tigers

The SportsXchange

DETROIT -- The Chicago White Sox escaped trouble throughout their four-game series opener against the Detroit Tigers on Monday night.

The Tigers had at least one base runner every inning but left 10 stranded and the White Sox used a three-run seventh to gain a 3-1 victory at Comerica Park.

Starter John Danks (2-0) scattered six hits in 6 1/3 innings and constantly pitched out of trouble while striking out just one batter. Even when the Tigers scored in the second inning, Danks felt fortunate. The Tigers loaded the bases with no outs but only got an RBI groundout from catcher Alex Avila.

"I dodged a big bullet there," Danks said. "Obviously, two walks in that inning were not good. To get out of that with just one run, I guess you have to take that. I try to keep myself out of those situations the best I can."

The White Sox also dodged a bigger bullet regarding the health of their ace left-hander Chris Sale. He had lingering soreness after his 127-pitch outing against Boston on Thursday and had an MRI Monday night. It revealed no structural damage but he was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a flexor muscle strain in his left arm.

Sale will miss two starts but Danks was relieved the news wasn't worse.

"I was more concerned before the game when he was going to get looked at," Danks said. "To hear that he's going to be OK and he's not going to miss too much time, it's great. He's one of the best pitchers in the game and it wouldn't do us any good to lose him. Fortunately, we're not going to lose him for too long."

Closer Matt Lindstrom escaped a jam of his own, stranding two runners to record his second save.

First baseman Jose Abreu and right fielder Dayan Viciedo had run-scoring doubles to lead the offense. Chicago, which won its second straight after four consecutive losses, added another run with the aid of a replay review.

Right fielder Torii Hunter had two of Detroit's nine hits and scored its lone run.

"After the first two innings, (Danks) settled down and started using all his pitches," Hunter said. "One at-bat, I saw something different come out of his hand every pitch. Danks knows how to pitch, keep us off-balance and change speeds and he did that tonight."

Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez (0-2) cruised through the first six innings, allowing only one hit, but fell apart in the seventh. Third baseman Conor Gillaspie led off with a double to right, and Abreu followed with a fly ball that bounced off the right-field line just out of Hunter's reach. The play was reviewed by replay but it was inconclusive whether the ball was fair or foul.

"I thought it was foul but the replays showed it might have hit the line," Hunter said. "When I was sliding, it felt like I was across the foul line and the ball dropped in front of my glove. I don't know if it was fair or foul but you have to challenge because a run scored."

That double tied it at 1-1, and Abreu scored the go-ahead run one out later on Viciedo's double.

Shortstop Alexei Ramirez followed with a single and Viciedo initially stopped at third, but left fielder Rajai Davis' throw sailed past Avila. Sanchez retrieved it as Viciedo tried to score, and home plate umpire CB Bucknor called Viciedo out at the plate.

Replays showed Viciedo eluded Avila's tag, the call was overturned upon review and Chicago had a 3-1 lead.

Avila collected his first RBI of the season with his bases-loaded groundout. He had 36 official at-bats this season before driving in a run. The groundout scored Hunter, who singled and advanced to third on two walks.

NOTES: The White Sox recalled LHP Charlie Leesman from Triple-A Charlotte on Monday night and he will start Tuesday's game against Detroit ace RHP Justin Verlander. Leesman replaces ace LHP Chris Sale, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a flexor muscle strain. Leesman was 0-2 with a 1.59 ERA in three starts with Charlotte. ... Detroit purchased the contract of OF J.D. Martinez from Triple-A Toledo on Monday and placed RHP Luke Putkonen on the 15-day disabled list because of right elbow inflammation, retroactive to April 19. Martinez, who played for Houston the last three seasons, led the International League with 10 home runs. ... White Sox CF Adam Eaton was unavailable because of a left hamstring strain suffered during the weekend. ... The Tigers were 8-0 when leading after the sixth inning. ... Detroit won 45 of its previous 64 games against the White Sox.

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