|Chi. White Sox||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||2||6||0|
CHICAGO -- The Detroit Tigers have been atop the AL Central since May 16. They're refusing to budge now.
Their 10-game lead from early August has nearly evaporated, but their playoff hopes are as strong as ever after they beat the Chicago White Sox 6-2 on Wednesday night.
"We feel comfortable, but at the same time we can't feel too comfortable. We have another team behind us that's playing really well," Curtis Granderson said after getting three of the Tigers' 14 hits.
Detroit still leads Minnesota by one-half game in the division after the Twins beat Boston 8-2 on Wednesday night.
"Any way to go in. If it happens to be on top, that's a plus," Granderson said, referring to the possibility of winning the wild card. "But any way it happens is OK with us."
The Tigers won two of three in Chicago and all but ended the defending World Series champions' chances of returning to the postseason.
The White Sox lost for the fifth time in six games. With 10 games left, they trail the Tigers by six games in the division and Minnesota by 5½ for the wild card.
"It's not impossible, but it's hard. It's not over yet, but obviously we're climbing a real tough wall," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said.
Jeremy Bonderman (13-8), just 1-4 in his 10 previous starts, allowed five hits in six innings with a walk and two strikeouts. He took a 4-0 lead into the sixth before surrendering solo homers to Juan Uribe and Tadahito Iguchi.
"We haven't done anything yet but put ourselves in a decent position. That's all we've done," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We have 10 left. We have to win enough to get in."
The Tigers had three straight hits to open both the third and fifth innings and built a four-run lead against Jon Garland (17-6), who failed for a second straight start to get his 18th win and match his total of last season.
Garland gave up 12 hits and five runs in seven-plus innings and left after giving up Ordonez's 23rd homer in the eighth.
"Terrible," he said, describing his outing.
Garland was just as blunt assessing the White Sox's slim chance of making it to the postseason.
"We have to win out and hopefully they lose some games," Garland said. "With the way Minnesota has played, it's highly unlikely, but you never know."
Marcus Thames reached on an infield single to shortstop leading off the third and scored on Brandon Inge's RBI double to right-center, which was followed by another run-scoring double from Granderson.
Inge and Granderson singled in the fifth, Rodriguez hit an RBI-double and Sean Casey delivered a sacrifice fly to make it 4-0.
Uribe led off the bottom of the sixth with his 19th homer, trimming the lead to 4-1. One out later, Iguchi hit his 17th, a drive to right-center that was just out of the reach of a leaping Granderson.
But Bonderman, as he did most of the night, was able to regroup after giving up a single to Jermaine Dye following Iguchi's homer. He struck out Jim Thome and got Paul Konerko on a fielder's choice grounder.
"Any time you get to September, you have something to play for and you're leading your division, it doesn't get much better than this," Bonderman said.
Ordonez, who homered twice in Detroit's 8-2 series-opening victory Monday, drove a pitch from Garland over the center field fence to make it a three-run game. Rodriguez added his 12th homer in the ninth off Neal Cotts.
|Magglio Ordonez gets a rub on the noggin from Ivan Rodriguez following his eighth-inning home run. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Curtis Granderson, CF||5||1||3||1||0||0||0||.264|
|Ivan Rodriguez, C||4||1||2||2||0||1||1||.294|
|Sean Casey, 1B||3||0||0||1||0||1||2||.274|
|a- Chris Shelton, PH-1B||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.272|
|Magglio Ordonez, RF||5||1||2||1||0||1||2||.295|
|Brent Clevlen, RF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.297|
|Carlos Guillen, SS||4||0||2||0||0||0||1||.311|
|Omar Infante, 2B||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.284|
|Craig Monroe, LF||4||0||1||0||0||2||2||.258|
|Marcus Thames, DH||3||1||2||0||1||1||1||.257|
|Brandon Inge, 3B||4||2||2||1||0||0||3||.252|
|a-struck out for Casey in the 9th|
|2B - Curtis Granderson (29, Garland), Ivan Rodriguez (27, Garland), Brandon Inge (29, Garland)|
|HR - Ivan Rodriguez (12, Cotts), Magglio Ordonez (23, Garland)|
|SF - Sean Casey (3)|
|SH - Ivan Rodriguez (4), Omar Infante (1)|
|RBI - Curtis Granderson (60), Ivan Rodriguez 2 (62), Sean Casey (55), Magglio Ordonez (98), Brandon Inge (78)|
|SB - Carlos Guillen (19, 3rd base off MacDougal/Pierzynski)|
|CS - Ivan Rodriguez (3, 3rd base by Garland/Pierzynski)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Inge-Casey, Inge-Infante-Casey, Guillen-Infante-Shelton|
|E - Jeremy Bonderman (1, )|
|Jeremy Bonderman (W,13-8)||6||5||2||2||1||2||2||4.11|
|Joel Zumaya (H,27)||2||0||0||0||1||3||0||2.00|
|WP - Jeremy Bonderman (3)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Bonderman 86-52, Joel Zumaya 38-25, Todd Jones 12-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Bonderman 9-6, Todd Jones 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Jeremy Bonderman 23, Joel Zumaya 7, Todd Jones 4|
|Chicago White Sox|
|Scott Podsednik, LF||3||0||1||0||1||0||0||.261|
|Tadahito Iguchi, 2B||4||1||1||1||0||0||2||.287|
|Jermaine Dye, RF||4||0||1||0||0||2||2||.320|
|Jim Thome, DH||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.286|
|Jerry Owens, PR-DH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Paul Konerko, 1B||3||0||0||0||1||0||1||.312|
|A.J. Pierzynski, C||3||0||1||0||1||1||0||.292|
|Joe Crede, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.289|
|Ryan Sweeney, CF||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.200|
|Juan Uribe, SS||3||1||1||1||0||0||0||.235|
|2B - Scott Podsednik (26, Bonderman)|
|HR - Tadahito Iguchi (17, Bonderman), Juan Uribe (19, Bonderman)|
|RBI - Tadahito Iguchi (64), Juan Uribe (63)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Garland-Uribe-Konerko|
|Chicago White Sox|
|Jon Garland (L,17-6)||7||12||5||5||0||4||1||4.37|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jon Garland 102-72, Matt Thornton 2-2, Mike MacDougal 17-7, Neal Cotts 18-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Garland 8-7, Mike MacDougal 1-1, Neal Cotts 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Jon Garland 31, Matt Thornton 1, Mike MacDougal 4, Neal Cotts 4|
|Attendance - 38971|
|Game Time - 2:53|
|Temperature - 60|
|Umpires - Home - Alfonso Marquez, First Base - Mike Everitt, Second Base - Tom Hallion, Third Base - Larry Young|