BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN
August 31, 2012 9:34PM
Chicago White Sox’s Dewayne Wise (28) slides safely across home plate to score on a Paul Konerko fly ball as Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila (13) receives the late throw in the sixth inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Friday, Aug. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Updated: August 31, 2012 10:35PM
DETROIT — Miguel Cabrera had three hits, including a two-run homer, Delmon Young broke a 4-all tie with a three-run double against reliever Matt Thornton and the Detroit Tigers defeated the White Sox 7-4 in the opener of an important three-game series Friday night.
The Sox had five hits against five Tigers pitchers, including a home run and double by A.J. Pierzynski, and couldn’t take advantage of five walks and two hit batsmen. Going into the game with a major-league-leading .291 batting average with runners in scoring position, the Sox went 0-for-13 in those situations. They left 12 runners on base.
Here are the opportunities that came and went:
◆ Runners at first and second with one out in the first inning: no runs.
◆ Bases loaded with no outs after one run scored in the third: no more runs.
◆ First and second after a pair of two-out walks in the fifth: no runs.
◆ Runner at third with one out in seventh: no runs.
Sore-ankled third baseman Miguel Cabrera made two errors, and second baseman Omar Infante had a shaky defensive game. That, in addition to the walks, opened the door for the Sox, but all they could muster besides Pierzynski’s extra-base hits were infield singles by Dayan Viciedo and Alexei Ramirez and a line-drive single by Adam Dunn.
Jake Peavy (9-10) gave up a two-run homer to Cabrera and a solo shot to Jhonny Peralta among nine hits allowed in six-plus innings. He left after walking Andy Dirks and giving up a line single by Cabrera with the score tied 4-4.
Enter the left-handed Thornton, who, pitching for the first time in seven days, hit Prince Fielder with a pitch to load the bases for Young. Fielder was upset about getting hit, but it didn’t make much sense because it loaded the bases for the right-handed-hitting Young, who lined a three-run double to left-center to give the Tigers a three-run lead.
The Sox’ fourth loss in their last five games trimmed their lead in the American League Central to two games. They face pitchers Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander on Saturday and Sunday as the Tigers look for the sweep, which would put them in a first-place tie.