White Sox 6, Tigers 4
Ozzie Guillen has plenty of faith in Juan Pierre.
The speedster made a sensational catch in the eighth inning,
then added a solo shot to help the Chicago White Sox beat the
Detroit Tigers 6-4 on Friday night.
Carlos Quentin also hit a three-run homer for the White Sox, who
ended a nine-game losing steak against the Tigers and won four
straight for the first time this season. Chicago, which trailed
Cleveland by 11 games in the AL Central on May 7, is now within
White Sox starter Mark Buehrle (5-4) pitched six effective
innings. He allowed three runs while giving up 10 hits, striking
out four with just one walk.
With one out in the eighth, reliever Matt Thornton gave up three
consecutive singles. He was helped by Pierre, who made a running
catch into the left-field fence to take away an extra base hit from
Alex Avila. Victor Martinez tagged from third to cut the Chicago
lead to 5-4.
After the spectacular catch, Pierre hit a leadoff homer in the
eighth to put Chicago up 6-4. It was the 11-year veteran’s first
home run since Aug. 3, 2010, against Detroit.
Pierre got off to a slow start at the plate in April and also
dropped a crucial fly ball with Thornton on the mound that led to
the tying run in a 2-1 loss to the Athletics on April 11.
”For some reason, the last couple of years in April, Juan
struggled on the field, offensively and defensively,” Guillen
said. ”I keep saying, ‘Never give up on Juan.’ Never will. The guy
works hard, he shows up everyday to win. He is going to be in the
lineup no matter what and that’s what he’s done throughout his
White Sox closer Sergio Santos struck out Ramon Santiago with
runners on first and second in the eighth, then pitched a scoreless
ninth for his 10th save in 11 opportunities. He got Miguel Cabrera
swinging to end the game with a runner on second.
Guillen wanted to challenge Cabrera with Victor Martinez
”Martinez was laughing in the on-deck circle because he thought
we were going to walk him (Cabrera) but I respect Victor. Victor is
a dangerous hitter. I’m not going to put the go-ahead run at the
plate, especially with Victor Martinez,” Guillen said.
Brent Lillibridge also added a solo shot for the White Sox.
Casper Wells hit a three-run homer for Detroit, which was trying
to win 10 straight games against the White Sox for the first time
Leading 1-0 in the fourth, the White Sox finally knocked out
Detroit starter Andrew Oliver, who was flirting with trouble his
Oliver allowed his fifth walk of the game when Pierre reached
with two outs, then Alexei Ramirez followed with a single. Quentin
gave the White Sox a 4-0 lead with his 14th homer of the season
into the left-field bullpen. A.J. Pierzynski quickly ended Oliver’s
night with a double.
”It was just a struggle from the first batter. I struggled with
the command on my fastball,” said Oliver. ”It’s just getting
ahead of guys. You’ll be a lot more effective that way.”
Oliver (0-1) allowed four runs in his second start for the
injured Phil Coke.
”We were dodging bullets the whole game, really. Oliver was
unable to locate the strike zone,” said Tigers manager Jim
Lillibridge tagged Charlie Furbush with a solo shot leading off
the fifth to give the White Sox a 5-3 lead. Lillibridge, who came
into the season with three career home runs, now has seven on the
season. He has homered four times in his last 13 games.
Danny Worth and Austin Jackson had back-to-back singles against
Buehrle in the fifth, and Detroit got on the board after Wells
drove Buehrle’s pitch into the left-center bleachers for a
three-run shot. It was Wells’ second of season.
The White Sox had runners on second and third with no outs in
the third and couldn’t score. Alex Rios popped out to shallow left
field, Lillibridge struck out and Adam Dunn grounded out to first
base to a loud chorus of boos.
After Lillibridge’s home run in the fifth, the White Sox failed
to score with bases loaded a no outs. Pierre’s grounder forced Dunn
out at the plate and Ramirez hit into a double play.
”Early in the game, I thought this kid (Oliver) wasn’t going to
come out for the second inning, then all of a sudden, we didn’t
take advantage of the situation,” Guillen said. ”We made it a
little tougher at the end of the game because we didn’t get the big
NOTES: The White Sox are done waiting for Dunn to break out of
his season-long slump. ”Well, we’re not waiting for him. You can’t
wait for anyone to break out,” said general manager Ken Williams.
Dunn ended an 0-for-40 skid against left-handers with an infield
single against Furbush in the fifth. … Dunn was in the lineup
because Paul Konerko was late scratched after having a minor
medical procedure to dislodge a loose fragment in his left wrist.
The White Sox don’t expect Konerko to miss anymore time. … Tigers
3B Brandon Inge went on the DL with mononucleosis. … The White
Sox were 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position.