Chicago at Detroit

W: J. Verlander (13-7) L: C. Sale (15-6)
S: J. Valverde (28)
HR: CHW - A. De Aza (7)   DET - B. Boesch (12),D. Young (17)

Tigers sweep ChiSox, share division lead wire reports

DETROIT -- Justin Verlander's second pitch of the night went sailing over the wall in right field, and the struggling ace figured out immediately what was wrong.

"I just realized pretty quickly that I didn't have great fastball control, so I started to give a little bit more effort -- thinking, `Well, if I don't have great control, I'm not going to get beat with 90 [mph] over the plate,"' Verlander said. "I'd rather get beat with 95, 96."

The White Sox didn't have much of a chance once Verlander made his crucial adjustment. He shut down Chicago after the first inning, and Delmon Young hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the sixth Sunday night to lift the Detroit Tigers to a 4-2 victory and a share of first place in the AL Central.

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Alejandro De Aza homered off Verlander (13-7) to lead off the game, but the right-hander was outstanding after that. He allowed four hits in eight innings, striking out 11 with two walks. The Tigers swept the three-game series to pull even with the White Sox atop the division.

"Like I said, this wasn't the Super Bowl today, this was a game. We had a good weekend," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "We just beat a very good team, a team that's been in first place for most of the year. It's going to be hard to take that away from them. They're good and they've answered every bell so far."

Chris Sale (15-6) allowed four runs and five hits in six innings.

Jose Valverde allowed a run in the ninth but held on for his 28th save in 32 chances.

Pinch-hitter Dan Johnson hit an RBI single off Valverde, and with men on first and third, Orlando Hudson hit a line drive to center. Austin Jackson momentarily misjudged it before tracking back to make the game-ending catch.

Amid a playoff-type atmosphere for a rare Sunday night game at Comerica Park, De Aza struck immediately. In his first at-bat after coming off the disabled list, he connected for his seventh homer of the year. De Aza had been out with injured ribs.

Verlander shook off that setback quickly, striking out three in the first inning and making it clear this would not be a repeat of his eight-run, 12-hit disaster at Kansas City in his previous start.

Sale was sharp too. He struck out seven and walked four, but Brennan Boesch sent a drive to center in the fifth for his 12th homer of the season, tying the game.

In the sixth, Omar Infante singled and Miguel Cabrera walked to start a Detroit rally. Prince Fielder struck out, but Young - who is on an eight-game hitting streak - homered to left. It was his 17th home run of the year.

"Just trying to put a ball in play and hope for the best," Young said. "I was looking fastballs so I can get ready and just try to make the adjustment."

When Sale returned to the dugout, he angrily sent a container of gum flying.

The lead was plenty safe with Verlander, who passed teammate Max Scherzer to take a 209-204 lead atop baseball's strikeout chart. It's the first time two Detroit pitchers have reached 200 since Mickey Lolich and Joe Coleman did it three straight seasons from 1971-73.

Verlander received a huge ovation from the crowd after striking out Dewayne Wise with his 124th and final pitch.

This is Verlander's fourth straight season with 200 strikeouts and sixth straight with 200 innings pitched.

The White Sox have lost seven straight to the Tigers. They were swept in a three-game series at Comerica in July, momentarily ceding first place to Detroit before taking it back in short order. Now the teams look set for a tense September. The Tigers begin a series with Cleveland on Monday, while the White Sox head back to Chicago for a 10-game homestand that includes a four-game showdown with Detroit from Sept. 10-13.

There was already a hint of contentiousness in this one, when Verlander and A.J. Pierzynski exchanged words during one of the Chicago designated hitter's two strikeouts.

"After the 1-0 pitch, he yelled something -- two words that I could not repeat either one of them," Verlander said. "So I had some words back at him once he struck out."

Pierzynski downplayed the incident.

"The way [Max] Scherzer and Verlander pitched the last couple nights makes it tough on anybody," he said. "You could throw the `27 Yankees out there and they're going to get them out."

Scherzer went eight scoreless innings for Detroit on Saturday night.

Chicago slugger Adam Dunn missed his second straight game Sunday with a strained oblique.


  • As expected, the Tigers recalled RHP Al Alburquerque from Triple-A Toledo before the game. He hasn't pitched for Detroit since offseason surgery on his pitching elbow.
  • Jackson reached in the fifth on a weird error when first baseman Paul Konerko let the ball roll all the way until it hit the base and bounced away, allowing Jackson -- who wasn't close to the bag yet -- to arrive safely.
  • Chicago's Tyler Flowers went from first to third on a wild pitch with two out in the seventh but was stranded.
  • Detroit RHP Anibal Sanchez (2-4) starts Monday against Cleveland RHP Corey Kluber (0-3).
  • Chicago LHP Hector Santiago (2-1) starts against Minnesota RHP Samuel Deduno (5-2).
Copyright 2017 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.
The Tigers ride the right arm of Justin Verlander, who helps Detroit beat Chicago for the seventh straight time at home. (AP)
The Tigers ride the right arm of Justin Verlander, who helps Detroit beat Chicago for the seventh straight time at home. (AP)

Players of the Game

J. Verlander
IP 8.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 2
K 11

A. De Aza
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1

Related Video

Chicago White Sox
Alejandro De Aza, CF4111021 .281
Kevin Youkilis, 3B3000010 .235
Dewayne Wise, LF4010022 .271
Paul Konerko, 1B4010013 .308
Alex Rios, RF4000012 .295
A.J. Pierzynski, DH4010020 .284
    Jose Lopez, PR-DH0100000 .253
Alexei Ramirez, SS4010000 .270
Tyler Flowers, C1000210 .229
   a- Dan Johnson, PH1011000 .500
    Jordan Danks, PR0000000 .241
Orlando Hudson, 2B4010013 .202
a-singled for Flowers in the 9th
2B - Dewayne Wise (5, Verlander)
HR - Alejandro De Aza (7, Verlander)
RBI - Alejandro De Aza (45), Dan Johnson (1)
2-OUT RBI - Dan Johnson (1)
CS - Tyler Flowers (1, 2nd base by Verlander/Laird)
Team LOB - 7
DP - A. Ramirez-Hudson-Konerko, Hudson-A. Ramirez-Konerko
E - Paul Konerko (2, Misplayed grounder)
Chicago White Sox
Chris Sale (L,15-6) 6544472 2.93
Nate Jones 1100010 2.95
Leyson Septimo 0.1100000 5.59
Brett Myers 0.2100100 3.42
HBP - Fielder (by Chris Sale)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Sale 106-61, Nate Jones 14-10, Leyson Septimo 3-3, Brett Myers 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Sale 5-4, Nate Jones 1-1
Batters Faced - Chris Sale 26, Nate Jones 4, Leyson Septimo 2, Brett Myers 4
Detroit Tigers
Austin Jackson, CF3010101 .306
Omar Infante, 2B4110012 .280
Miguel Cabrera, 3B2100202 .331
Prince Fielder, 1B3010012 .313
Delmon Young, LF3113022 .276
    Don Kelly, LF1000001 .173
Jhonny Peralta, SS4010013 .254
Avisail Garcia, RF4020011 .429
Brennan Boesch, DH3111121 .246
Gerald Laird, C3000103 .272
2B - Jhonny Peralta (30, Sale)
HR - Delmon Young (17, Sale), Brennan Boesch (12, Sale)
RBI - Delmon Young 3 (61), Brennan Boesch (51)
CS - Austin Jackson (7, 2nd base by Sale/Flowers)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Laird-Peralta
Detroit Tigers
Justin Verlander (W,13-7) 84112111 2.73
Jose Valverde (S,28) 1311000 3.65
HBP - Youkilis (by Justin Verlander)
WP - Justin Verlander (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Justin Verlander 124-80, Jose Valverde 13-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Verlander 5-7
Batters Faced - Justin Verlander 30, Jose Valverde 6
Game Information
Attendance - 42192
Game Time - 2:52
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Adrian Johnson, First Base - Gary Cederstrom, Second Base - Lance Barksdale, Third Base - Field Culbreth