The White Sox (9-7) have won four straight - their longest winning streak since a five-game stretch from Aug. 10-14 - including a 7-5 victory in 10 innings over Detroit (9-8) on Saturday.
Jose Contreras gave up a first-inning grand slam to Carlos Guillen, but Chicago erased the four-run deficit by scoring three times in the fourth and tying it in the fifth on Jim Thome’s sacrifice fly.
The White Sox then victimized Detroit’s struggled bullpen again, scoring three runs in the final 3 2-3 innings. Jermaine Dye hit an RBI double in the 10th to score the go-ahead run, and Juan Uribe had a sac fly to bring home Dye.
In Friday’s 5-4 White Sox victory, Tigers reliever Jason Grilli gave up the game-winning run in the seventh.
“We did some stuff today that was embarrassing,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland, whose team has lost three straight, said after Saturday’s defeat. “If we’re not embarrassed, we should be. Myself, the coaches and everyone else.
“We should all be embarrassed.”
The White Sox moved two games above .500 for the first time this season. Chicago dropped three straight before its current winning streak, scoring a combined two runs in those three games and batting .184 (18-for-98). During the four consecutive wins, Chicago is averaging six runs.
While the Tigers relievers are struggling, the White Sox bullpen gave up one hit over the final three innings Saturday, with Bobby Jenks earning his sixth save in seven opportunities.
“Our bullpen just keeps buying the batters time to get a run,” said Paul Konerko, who led off the 10th with a double. “They’re just doing their job and they’re doing great.”
Chicago has won four straight at Comerica.
The White Sox will hand the ball to Jon Garland (0-1, 4.66 ERA) as they go for the sweep. He’ll be looking to bounce back from a shaky outing, having allowed five runs and five hits in seven innings of an 8-1 loss to Texas on Tuesday.
All the runs came on a pair of homers—a two-run shot in the fifth inning and a three-run homer in the seventh.
“Basically, I gave the hitter what he was looking for in that certain situation and I’m better than that,” Garland told the team’s official Web site. “I need to go out and give my team a chance to win. I didn’t do that tonight.”
The right-hander is 12-6 with a 4.32 ERA in 22 starts against the Tigers.
Like Garland, Justin Verlander (1-0, 1.42) has gotten off to a slow start. The AL Rookie of the Year allowed three runs and five hits in six innings Monday in a 12-5 win over the Royals.
Verlander had received one run of support in each of his previous two starts.
“You know it’s only a matter of time before they’re going to score some runs for you,” he said.
Verlander is 1-4 with a 7.82 ERA in five starts against the White Sox. That’s due in large part to Jim Thome, who went 6-for-12 with four homers and five RBIs against the right-hander in 2006.
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