They'll have to do better than this, though.
Carlos Quentin hit a three-run homer in his second straight game, rookie Daniel Hudson earned his first major league victory and the Chicago White Sox beat the Tigers 8-4 Sunday for their third win in 11 games.
Hudson (1-1) outpitched All-Star Edwin Jackson (13-8) over six solid innings, and Quentin broke it open with a drive to right that capped a four-run eighth and made it 8-2. The good news for the AL Central-leading Tigers was that second-place Minnesota lost 4-1 to Kansas City and Zack Greinke, so their lead over the Twins remained two games heading into a four-game series between the teams that starts Monday at Comerica Park.
"It's a very crucial time," Inge said. "I would say as close to a playoff game as you can get without actually being a playoff game, so you just have to go out there and have some fun with it."
The Tigers had won five of six and got off to a good start when Chicago resident Curtis Granderson set a club record with his 24th career leadoff homer. But instead of another shot of momentum, they got a dose of disappointment heading into their big series with the Twins that could decide the division championship.
"It's a big game, but it's just another game," said Rick Porcello, who will pitch for Detroit on Monday night. "Try to take that approach and stay even-keel throughout that entire time."
The inconsistent White Sox saw their postseason hopes officially vanish Thursday night, and the final home game of the season could have also been a Chicago farewell for several veterans such as Jermaine Dye and Scott Podsednik. Dye and the team have a mutual option for 2010 and Podsednik, the sparkplug on the 2005 championship team who rejoined the club on a minor league deal in April, could be gone.
If this was his last home appearance at U.S. Cellular Field, then he left in style.
Podsednik had two hits, tying it with a triple and scoring during a three-run sixth against Jackson that gave the White Sox a 4-2 lead and made a winner of Hudson. Quentin, Gordon Beckham and Alexei Ramirez also had two hits apiece and Chicago prevailed after blowing a five-run lead the previous night in a 12-5 loss that led to another tirade by manager Ozzie Guillen.
"The way they played today, that's the way they should try to play every day," Guillen said.
Hudson, a 22-year-old right-hander, was shaky at times even though he allowed just two runs and three hits in his second major league start. He walked five but pitched out of several jams before turning it over to the bullpen.
Hudson continued to open eyes. He was solid in a loss to Minnesota, and now this.
"It's definitely good for the experience to get a few starts in me, but it's not really up to me what they want to do next year," he said.
Jackson pitched into the eighth but came up short while trying to earn his 14th win and tie a career high he set last year with Tampa Bay. The right-hander allowed seven hits and left after a leadoff single by Beckham, who came around on a two-out single by Mark Kotsay off Fernando Rodney that made it 5-2.
After Ramirez singled, Quentin hit his 19th homer.
The Tigers wasted several opportunities, none bigger than in the sixth when they settled for one run after loading the bases with one out. Hudson walked Placido Polanco, Miguel Cabrera and Aubrey Huff before Carlos Guillen drove a sacrifice fly to center that gave Detroit a 2-1 lead, but the White Sox responded in the bottom half against Jackson.
"Today was pretty much our offense, which has been mind-boggling," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "You got it last night, got some, think you got some going and through five, six innings, you got three hits. It's hard to believe. It's hard to figure out."
- Granderson has 100 homers in his career. He also singled and doubled.
- The White Sox play three games at Cleveland before closing the season with three at Detroit.
- Count Guillen among those who would like to see Chicago host the 2016 Summer Olympics. "I know a lot of people are against them, but I think people should be supporting this because a lot of great things can happen," he said. "I think this city is good enough, beautiful enough, a lot of fans to support that."