The Detroit Tigers nearly escaped the fifth inning without allowing more than one run.
Instead, the Chicago White Sox took the lead.
A grounder from Andrew Vaughn to shortstop Javier Báez should have been the inning-ending double play, but first baseman Kody Clemens couldn't hold onto the relay throw from second baseman Willi Castro.
Eloy Jimenez scored on the play.
The Tigers lost, 5-3, and were swept in three games at Guaranteed Rate Field, as the offense tallied eight hits, zero walks and 14 strikeouts. The Tigers (43-73) have dropped seven games in a row and carry a 7-26 record since July 9.
Left-hander Tyler Alexander, who allowed his first run in the third inning, gave up both runs in the fifth. AJ Pollock opened the inning with a full-count double, and a one-out double from Jimenez drove him in for a 2-2 tie.
Jose Abreu kept the inning alive with an ensuing single to left field, putting runners on the corners and sparking a mound visit from pitching coach Chris Fetter. Alexander tossed two sinkers to Vaughn, and the second one bounced to Báez.
But the Tigers failed to turn the double play and fell behind 3-2.
Alexander allowed three runs one six hits and three walks with two strikeouts in five innings, throwing 62 of 97 pitches for strikes. Vaugh put the White Sox on the scoreboard in the third with a solo home run on an 0-2 four-seam fastball at the top of the strike zone.
He got nine swings and misses.
In the eighth, right-handed reliever Wily Peralta hung a splitter and Vaughn smashed it to left-center field for a solo home run and a 4-2 lead for the White Sox. Seby Zavala chipped in an RBI double to make it 5-2. Righties Jason Foley and Alex Lange pitched scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh, respectively.
Harold Castro hit a solo home run off right-hander Kendall Graveman in the ninth inning for the Tigers' third and final run.
Swing ... and a miss
The Tigers scored their first two runs in the third inning.
Back-to-back one-out singles from Akil Baddoo and Riley Greene applied pressure to right-hander Lance Lynn, and with Victor Reyes in the batter's box and runners on the corners, the veteran pitcher made a mistake.
A wild pitch scored Baddoo for a 1-0 lead.
Although Reyes flied out for the second out, Báez cranked a curveball below the strike zone for a two-out, two-strike double that drove in Greene for a 2-0 margin. His 23rd double this season traveled to right field with a 97 mph exit velocity.
Lynn allowed two runs on five hits — without a walk — and struck out seven batters over six innings. He threw 63 of 88 pitches for strikes and used his four-seam fastballs more than any pitch in his arsenal.
For his 88 pitches, Lynn tossed 47 four-seamers (53%), 19 cutters (22%), 10 curveballs (11%), eight sinkers (9%), three changeups (3%) and one slider (1%). He generated 20 swings and misses, including 11 from his fastball. The Tigers posted a 71.8 mph average exit velocity on seven balls in play against his fastball.
Two White Sox relievers — righty Jimmy Lambert and lefty Jake Diekman — recorded six outs with six strikeouts to complete the seventh and eighth innings. Graveman got through the ninth despite Castro's homer.
The Tigers struck out 78 times over the past six games.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers swept by White Sox in 5-3 loss, 30 games under .500