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Chicago at Detroit

W: E. Johnson (2-2) L: A. Sanchez (14-8)
HR: CHW - None   DET - P. Fielder (25)

White Sox beat Tigers, deny clincher for Detroit

CBSSports.com wire reports

DETROIT -- Outside the Detroit clubhouse, inside a yellow van parked in a loading area, a few boxes labeled "Dom Perignon" provided a reminder of an opportunity missed -- but not lost.

The Tigers fell short in their effort to clinch the AL Central title during the final homestand of the season, losing 6-3 to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday. There would be no champagne-soaked celebration -- only a resolute belief that postseason baseball will be back in Motown this year anyway.

"Everybody wanted to clinch at home," Detroit's Brayan Pena said. "But it doesn't matter how we do it. We just want to do it, because if we do it, everybody knows that we're coming back here. And those fans, they really deserve that."

Detroit needed a win and a Cleveland loss to wrap up the division Sunday, and neither happened. So the Tigers' magic number for the AL Central championship remains at two at the start of a six-game road trip.

One thing is certain: Detroit's season will not be over after 162 games. The loss by Texas at Kansas City on Sunday means the worst the Tigers can do is finish in a tie for a wild card.

Chicago's Erik Johnson (2-2) allowed two runs and nine hits in 6 2-3 innings in his fourth career start, and the White Sox held on a day after blowing a six-run lead in the ninth inning against the Tigers.

Anibal Sanchez (14-8) yielded four runs and eight hits in five innings, taking his first loss since July 19.

Prince Fielder homered for the Tigers. Detroit was without slugger Miguel Cabrera, who has been bothered by groin soreness. Cabrera said he hopes he can play Monday.

The Tigers gave themselves a chance to clinch at Comerica Park with a stirring comeback Saturday night, when they scored six runs in the ninth inning to tie the game before winning 7-6 in 12.

"No matter where we are, as long as we clinch and we get it done, that'll let me know that postseason is there," outfielder Torii Hunter said. "All I care about is the World Series. I think if you set your goals high, and you chase the ultimate goal, which is the World Series, I think everything else falls in line."

Detroit never led Sunday, and by the middle innings the chances of a postgame celebration were looking increasingly remote for the defending American League champions.

"Disappointment is such a big word," Hunter said. "I don't know if we're disappointed. We wish we could have had a chance to do it here in front of the fans who have been supporting us all year."

Fielder tied it at 1 in the fourth with his 25th homer of the year, but Chicago answered with three runs in the fifth. Center fielder Austin Jackson got a bit of a late jump on Conor Gillaspie's line drive, which sailed over his head for a two-run triple. Avisail Garcia's RBI single made it 4-1.

Jeff Keppinger added a two-run double in the seventh.

There would be no big rally by the Tigers on this day. Detroit did load the bases in the seventh, and Jackson hit a sacrifice fly. Donnie Veal relieved Johnson and got Hunter, who was pinch-hitting, to line out to end the inning.

On Saturday, the Tigers scored five runs in the ninth before an out or a pitching change. This time, pinch-hitter Pena led off with a double, and White Sox manager Robin Ventura immediately pulled Veal. Matt Lindstrom got the final three outs, although Detroit did manage another run.

"We had that feeling in the dugout," Hunter said. "Guys were talking about it: `Uh oh. Can we do it two nights in a row?'"

The 23-year-old Johnson pitched six scoreless innings against Minnesota in his previous start, and although he struck out only one against the Tigers, he was able to avoid the big inning.

"He did a good job going against a tough lineup," Ventura said. "He stayed out of trouble. That's great composure for a kid as old as he is."

Sanchez had won seven straight decisions and entered with an American League-leading ERA of 2.51, but he didn't look sharp. Chicago took the lead right away when Sanchez allowed a one-out single to Alexei Ramirez, threw a wild pitch and gave up an RBI single to Garcia.


Garcia, Keppinger and Detroit's Alex Avila had three hits each. ... Detroit plays at Minnesota on Monday night, with RHP Justin Verlander (13-12) taking on RHP Mike Pelfrey (5-13). ... The White Sox host Toronto. Chicago LHP Jose Quintana (8-6) faces LHP J.A. Happ (4-6).

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Alexei Ramirez and Jordan Danks make sure there is no AL Central championship celebration in Detroit on Sunday.  (USATSI)
Alexei Ramirez and Jordan Danks make sure there is no AL Central championship celebration in Detroit on Sunday. (USATSI)

Players of the Game

A. Garcia
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0

A. Avila
AB 3
R 1
H 3
HR 0

Related Video

Chicago (A.L.) White Sox
Alejandro De Aza, LF4110130 .264
Alexei Ramirez, SS5010003 .282
Conor Gillaspie, 1B4312112 .251
Avisail Garcia, RF5132000 .289
Jordan Danks, CF3000212 .234
Jeff Keppinger, DH5032001 .252
Gordon Beckham, 2B5010006 .269
Josh Phegley, C4000015 .222
Marcus Semien, 3B4110021 .289
Erik Johnson, P0000000 .000
   Donnie Veal, P0000000 .000
   Matt Lindstrom, P0000000 .000
2B - Jeff Keppinger (13, Reed), Gordon Beckham (21, Sanchez)
3B - Conor Gillaspie (3, Sanchez)
RBI - Conor Gillaspie 2 (38), Avisail Garcia 2 (28), Jeff Keppinger 2 (40)
2-OUT RBI - Avisail Garcia (19)
SB - Alejandro De Aza (20, 2nd base off Reed/Avila), Marcus Semien (2, 2nd base off Sanchez/Avila)
Team LOB - 10
DP - A. Ramirez-Gillaspie
Chicago (A.L.) White Sox
Erik Johnson (W,2-2) 6.2922011 2.82
Donnie Veal (H,11) 1.1111000 4.82
Matt Lindstrom 1100010 2.88
Pitches-Strikes - Erik Johnson 97-61, Donnie Veal 14-10, Matt Lindstrom 15-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Erik Johnson 8-10, Donnie Veal 2-2, Matt Lindstrom 2-0
Batters Faced - Erik Johnson 28, Donnie Veal 5, Matt Lindstrom 4
Detroit Tigers
Austin Jackson, CF4001022 .269
Andy Dirks, RF3010000 .262
   a-Torii Hunter, PH-RF1000002 .298
Prince Fielder, 1B4111001 .283
Victor Martinez, DH4010001 .303
Don Kelly, 3B3000001 .232
   b-Hernan Perez, PH-3B1000000 .194
Alex Avila, C3130000 .229
   c-Brayan Pena, PH1110000 .304
Omar Infante, 2B4010004 .317
Ramon Santiago, SS4011003 .228
Nick Castellanos, LF4020000 .294
Anibal Sanchez, P0000000 .000
   Evan Reed, P0000000 .000
   Darin Downs, P0000000 .000
a-lined out for Dirks in the 7th
b-flied out for Kelly in the 8th
c-doubled for Avila in the 9th
2B - Alex Avila (14, Johnson), Brayan Pena (11, Veal)
HR - Prince Fielder (25, Johnson)
SF - Austin Jackson (3)
RBI - Austin Jackson (46), Prince Fielder (106), Ramon Santiago (14)
Team LOB - 7
E - Omar Infante (10, Misplayed grounder)
Detroit Tigers
Anibal Sanchez (L,14-8) 5844260 2.64
Evan Reed 2.2322220 4.09
Darin Downs 1.1000000 4.93
WP - Anibal Sanchez 2 (7)
Pitches-Strikes - Anibal Sanchez 99-60, Evan Reed 45-25, Darin Downs 16-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Anibal Sanchez 6-3, Evan Reed 3-3, Darin Downs 3-2
Batters Faced - Anibal Sanchez 25, Evan Reed 13, Darin Downs 5
Game Information
Attendance - 41749
Game Time - 3:08
Temperature - 59
Umpires - Home - Laz Diaz, First Base - Mark Wegner, Second Base - Tim Timmons, Third Base - Mike Muchlinski