Tigers edge ChiSox to sweep doubleheader

BY foxsports • July 25, 2009

The Chicago White Sox were far from perfect without Mark Buehrle on the mound.

Clete Thomas drew a bases-loaded walk in the eighth inning to force home the tiebreaking run, and the Detroit Tigers beat Chicago 4-3 on Friday night for a sweep of their day-night doubleheader.

Carlos Guillen, just activated from the disabled list, homered to help Detroit increase its AL Central lead to two games over the White Sox. One day after Buehrle pitched the 18th perfect game in major league history, Chicago lost not once, but twice.

"Buehrle really doesn't mean anything if he's not pitching the next day," White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko said. "Momentum matters the least in our sport."

The Tigers had dropped five of six, allowing Chicago to tie them atop the division. But Detroit recovered nicely behind Guillen and Justin Verlander, who threw a six-hitter for a 5-1 victory in the opener.

"Every game is big for us right now," said Guillen, who played both games and finished 3 for 7. "We've got to play hard every day, not just against the White Sox. We have to stay focused and be consistent."

Scott Linebrink (2-5) loaded the bases in the eighth inning of the nightcap. Placido Polanco singled and Magglio Ordonez doubled with one out before Miguel Cabrera was intentionally walked.

Matt Thornton struck out pinch-hitter Ryan Raburn, then walked Thomas on a 3-2 pitch.

"We got a run when we really needed it," Brandon Inge said. "A couple of great at-bats against Thornton."

Brandon Lyon (4-4) pitched a perfect inning for the win and Fernando Rodney worked the ninth for his 21st save in 21 chances.

Jim Thome and Jermaine Dye hit home runs for the White Sox.

"We missed opportunities, once again, in the second game," Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said. "We got chances to score and we didn't."

Thome gave Chicago a 1-0 lead when he hit his 17th homer leading off the second. Thome drove Eddie Bonine's first pitch deep into the left-center stands, an estimated 428 feet.

Guillen tied it with his one-out shot in the second. He sent Bartolo Colon's 3-1 delivery deep into the right-field seats for his first home run of the season.

Dye put the White Sox ahead 3-1 with a two out, two-run homer in the third. It came on a 3-2 pitch for his 22nd home run.

Detroit tied it at 3 with two in the fifth. Dusty Ryan singled home a run and the other one scored on Polanco's fielder's choice grounder.

Bonine allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings. He was recalled from Triple-A Toledo between games to make the start.

After the nightcap, Bonine was optioned back to Toledo and the Tigers recalled right-hander Casey Fien from the Mud Hens.

Colon gave up three runs and six hits in seven innings.

In the opener, Verlander (11-5) got out of a bases-loaded, none-out jam in the ninth to finish his sixth career complete game. He allowed only an unearned run and beat Jose Contreras (4-9).

"That felt good, especially because Skip (manager Jim Leyland) had the confidence to let me finish it," Verlander said. "After they loaded the bases, I was looking into the dugout and I really didn't want to see him coming for me."

Verlander yielded three hits through eight innings, but the first three batters of the ninth all lined clean singles. Gordon Beckham grounded into a 1-2-3 double play, and Verlander retired DeWayne Wise to end the game.

"He's a horse, and we saw that again today," Leyland said. "He's just a very special talent."

Verlander was twice clocked at 100 mph during Wise's at-bat, the last coming on his 125th pitch.

"He's got a gift," Tigers catcher Gerald Laird said. "When they loaded the bases, he just reared back and started hitting 100 on the gun. He's got unbelievable stuff."

Verlander struggled with his control early, walking four batters in the first five innings. But he didn't allow a hit after the fourth until the ninth.

"I was worried, because he got out of sync, but he got it back together," Leyland said. "That's the difference between this year and last year."

Ozzie Guillen didn't think his team had a letdown after Buehrle's perfect game.

"Verlander was just dominating," Guillen said.

Detroit went up 4-1 in the seventh on RBI singles by Adam Everett and Polanco. The Tigers scored their final run on Laird's suicide squeeze in the eighth. They matched a season best with three stolen bases.


The White Sox said reports that the ball from the last out of Buehrle's perfect game was lost were incorrect. A club spokesman said the team has the ball. Chicago's Josh Fields gave the ball to a Major League Baseball authenticator after the game on Thursday. The authenticator subsequently gave it to a White Sox official. ... Carlos Guillen was activated before the first game. He had spent most of the season on the DL with a sore shoulder.

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