By ANDREW SELIGMAN/AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO (AP) – It really wasn’t too long ago that the Chicago White Sox could count on their defense. Now, it seems, every play is an adventure.
Rick Porcello pitched four-hit ball over seven scoreless innings, Jhonny Peralta homered and the Detroit Tigers took advantage of four errors in a 6-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.
“I don’t know if it is psychological,” Paul Konerko said. “I definitely think it is a contagious thing. We have some guys that are really good defenders that have gotten swallowed up in it. Crazy things happen in this game. I have seen it with not just defensive stuff. But whether it be bullpen stuff, offensive stuff, different years, give you different things.”
With MVP and Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera sidelined by a hip problem, the AL Central leaders again got all the help they needed from Chicago. One night after matching what was a season-high with three errors and giving up five unearned runs in a 7-3 loss to the Tigers, the White Sox managed to outdo themselves.
The four errors matched their highest total since a game at Kansas City on April 6, 2011, and gave them 68 in all — two shy of last year’s total. They also matched a season high by falling 19 games below .500.
“I don’t think anyone saw this one coming this year with the way we played last year and we have pretty much the same pieces,” Konerko said. “The ball just kept rolling down the hill the wrong way and we have not stopped it.”
Peralta, meanwhile, delivered an RBI single and scored in a three-run fourth in which the Tigers took advantage of two errors. He also hit a solo drive off Hector Santiago (3-6) in the sixth, and Detroit scored three in the inning to go up 6-0.
That was more than enough for Porcello (7-6), who won his third straight start after dropping three in a row. He struck out one and walked three.
Santiago took the loss after four straight no-decisions, allowing six runs over six innings. Only three were earned, but just like Chris Sale the previous night, he got no support from his fielders.
“I don’t even know how many were unearned tonight or earned,” Santiago said. “In a situation like that, you just want to get those plays back. They’re out there trying to play their heart out, give everything they got. It’s part of the game, it gets away from them trying to make a play. It just falls out of the glove or something.”
The error procession started in the first inning when first baseman Adam Dunn appeared to bump Torii Hunter and force him out of the baseline in a rundown. The runner was awarded second base, and manager Robin Ventura got ejected for the first time this season after a heated argument with first base umpire Gary Darling.
It only got worse for Chicago in the fourth.
Matt Tuiasosopo reached leading off when third baseman Conor Gillaspie booted his grounder. Tuiasosopo scored from third on a single by Peralta after Victor Martinez doubled. There was also a bases-loaded walk to Don Kelly and a sacrifice fly by Hernan Perez in which right fielder Alex Rios’ throw home got away from catcher Josh Phegley, allowing the runner to advance from first to second.
Peralta made it 4-0 with his drive to left with one out in the sixth, and the Tigers added two more in the inning with the White Sox committing another error along the way.
That happened when left fielder Dayan Viciedo bobbled the ball several times trying to pick it up after Perez tripled with a man on first, allowing both runners to score.
As for Cabrera, he said he didn’t go for an MRI and was feeling better on Tuesday — a day after he walked off the field with a sore left hip flexor.
Manager Jim Leyland said his star might return within the next two days against Chicago and that he doesn’t expect him to wind up on the disabled list.
“I doubt very much he’ll play (Wednesday),” Leyland said. “I can assure you, he’s not going to play both these games the next two days. … Will he play one? I can’t answer that. But if he played (Wednesday) night, he certainly wouldn’t play the day game. I don’t know if he’ll player either of the two, to be honest with you.”
NOTES: Leyland said 2B Omar Infante, on the disabled list with a sprained left ankle, could soon begin a rehab assignment. Assuming no setbacks from Tuesday’s workout, Infante would leave for Class-A West Michigan on Wednesday and could rejoin the Tigers this weekend. Leyland also said LHP Darin Downs (tendinitis in his pitching shoulder) is “probably close to going out and pitching. But I can’t tell you when.” … White Sox reliever Jesse Crain threw off a mound Tuesday for the first time since he went on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder and could be ready to return as soon as this weekend, pitching coach Don Cooper said. He is tentatively scheduled to throw on the side on Thursday.
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