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Cintron's three-run homer in eighth lifts White Sox past Tigers

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Alex Cintron noticed a pattern, and then it was just a matter of waiting for his pitch.

Cintron hit a three-run homer off reliever Fernando Rodney in the eighth inning to lead the Chicago White Sox to a 4-3 victory over the AL Central-leading Detroit Tigers on Tuesday.

"I figured him out," Cintron said. "He was throwing fastball, changeup, one after another. I was looking for the fastball."

With Detroit ahead 3-1, Rodney walked Jermaine Dye leading off the eighth and Joe Crede with one out. Cintron then hit a 3-2 pitch out to right for his first homer of the season, sending the second-place White Sox to their second victory in seven games.

Brandon McCarthy (3-3) tossed two scoreless innings of relief to get the win, and Bobby Jenks struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 16th save in 17 opportunities.

Dye hit his 17th homer leading off the second inning for Chicago, which had lost seven of 10.

Rodney (4-2) had pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings over his previous five outings, before coming on to start the eighth. Until then, Nate Robertson was on his way to his sixth victory after allowing one run in 6 1/3 innings.

"He walked two guys and Cintron saw too many pitches, and that's basically the ballgame," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "It's that simple. Rodney has been brilliant all season long. You know one of these was going to happen."

Marcus Thames, Chris Shelton and Brandon Inge hit solo homers for the Tigers, who have lost seven of nine. They also lost catcher Ivan Rodriguez to lower back spasms.

The 12-time All-Star struck out to end the second and caught the bottom of that inning, but did not come out for the third. Vance Wilson replaced him behind the plate.

Robertson left after Cintron walked leading off the seventh and second baseman Placido Polanco booted Scott Podsednik's grounder with one out, putting runners on first and second.

Joel Zumaya relieved, and Tadahito Iguchi singled to left to load the bases for Jim Thome.

Back in the lineup after missing a three-game series against Texas with a strained left groin, the slugger struck out swinging on a 2-2 pitch. Paul Konerko then flied out to end the threat.

The next inning, an unlikely source supplied the big drive.

Cintron's homer was his first since Sept. 22, when he hit one for Arizona against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He started at shortstop because Juan Uribe's wife was expecting a baby.

"We've got some professional hitters -- (Rob) Mackowiak, Cintron, (Ross) Gload -- guys that aren't in there every day," Konerko said. "They're very good situational hitters. Other than Jim, I don't think we have guys who are the superstar, guys you appreciate watching one day. It's something you have to watch over time."

White Sox starter Freddy Garcia was shaky, throwing 118 pitches and allowing three runs and eight hits in six innings. But McCarthy had one of his best relief outings.

The White Sox were 2-4 before sweeping three games at Detroit in April and were slumping again heading into this one. Now a major league-best 21-8 at home, Chicago started this nine-game homestand by dropping two of three to Texas -- including a 10-2 pounding on Sunday.

After allowing five runs in each of his previous two starts, Garcia had his usual troubles in the early going. He was fortunate to survive the first without giving up a run, after walking two batters and allowing a ground-rule double to former White Sox slugger Magglio Ordonez. But the Tigers left the bases loaded.

Thames, on an 8-for-18 surge entering the game, led off the second by driving a 1-2 pitch out for his 10th homer to extend his hitting streak to six. And with one out, Inge slugged his 12th to make it 2-0.

Tied for third in the AL in home runs when the day began, Dye hit a 1-1 pitch just beyond the left-field bullpen leading off the bottom half.

But Shelton hit his 12th homer leading off the fourth to increase Detroit's lead to 3-1.

It seemed safe after Thome and Konerko went down in the eighth. Then, Cintron struck.

"I know my job is to back up Uribe and Iguchi," he said. "In the playoffs, I'll be ready to help the team win."

Notes

  • Rodriguez wasn't sure how he hurt his back and is day to day.
  • The Tigers transferred pitcher Mike Maroth to the 60-day disabled list and purchased outfielder Alexis Gomez's contract from Triple-A Toledo on Tuesday. Maroth went on the 15-day DL on May 26 -- one day after allowing six runs in one-third of an inning against Kansas City -- and underwent arthroscopic surgery last week to remove bone chips in his left elbow.
  • Dye has reached base in his last 14 games.
 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Alex Cintron admires his three-run homer in the eighth, which propels the White Sox to the win.  (Getty Images)
Alex Cintron admires his three-run homer in the eighth, which propels the White Sox to the win. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Chicago

A. Cintron
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Detroit

M. Thames
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF4020120 .287
Placido Polanco, 2B4000103 .282
Ivan Rodriguez, C2000012 .306
    Vance Wilson, C2000002 .283
Magglio Ordonez, RF4010001 .319
Carlos Guillen, SS3000121 .294
Alexis Gomez, LF4020003 .250
Marcus Thames, DH4111002 .311
Chris Shelton, 1B4111020 .292
Brandon Inge, 3B4111020 .215
Totals353833914 
Batting
2B - Curtis Granderson (13, Garcia), Magglio Ordonez (11, Garcia)
HR - Marcus Thames (10, Garcia), Chris Shelton (12, Garcia), Brandon Inge (12, Garcia)
RBI - Marcus Thames (16), Chris Shelton (29), Brandon Inge (32)
SB - Curtis Granderson (4, 3rd base off Garcia/Pierzynski), Alexis Gomez (1, 2nd base off Garcia/Pierzynski)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Guillen-Polanco-Shelton
E - Placido Polanco (4, Misplayed grounder)
Detroit Tigers
Nate Robertson 6.1611341 3.25
Joel Zumaya (H,14) 0.2100010 2.63
Fernando Rodney (BS,2; L,4-2) 1133211 1.98
HBP - Thome (by Nate Robertson)
WP - Nate Robertson (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Nate Robertson 82-43, Joel Zumaya 11-7, Fernando Rodney 31-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nate Robertson 8-6, Fernando Rodney 1-1
Batters Faced - Nate Robertson 28, Joel Zumaya 3, Fernando Rodney 6
Chicago White Sox
Scott Podsednik, LF4000102 .258
    Rob Mackowiak, LF0000000 .264
Tadahito Iguchi, 2B4010010 .296
Jim Thome, DH3010024 .296
Paul Konerko, 1B4010005 .294
Jermaine Dye, RF3211101 .306
A.J. Pierzynski, C4020000 .330
Joe Crede, 3B2100200 .295
Alex Cintron, SS3123102 .269
Brian Anderson, CF4000034 .158
Totals314845618 
Batting
HR - Jermaine Dye (17, Robertson), Alex Cintron (1, Rodney)
RBI - Jermaine Dye (42), Alex Cintron 3 (10)
Team LOB - 9
Chicago White Sox
Freddy Garcia 6833253 4.56
Brandon McCarthy (W,3-3) 2000120 5.01
Bobby Jenks (S,16) 1000020 3.33
Pitches-Strikes - Freddy Garcia 118-71, Brandon McCarthy 26-16, Bobby Jenks 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Freddy Garcia 3-10, Brandon McCarthy 2-2, Bobby Jenks 1-0
Batters Faced - Freddy Garcia 28, Brandon McCarthy 7, Bobby Jenks 3
Game Information
Attendance - 37192
Game Time - 2:42
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Bob Davidson, First Base - Ron Kulpa, Second Base - Dale Scott, Third Base - Dan Iassogna