CHICAGO (AP) – Max Scherzer was headed toward a loss until a late rally took him off the hook. The Tigers couldn’t pull through in the end, though.
Alejandro De Aza singled with the bases loaded in the 11th inning to lift the Chicago White Sox to a 4-3 victory over Detroit on Tuesday night.
Avisail Garcia had two hits against his former team, drove in his first two runs with Chicago and scored two, including the winner. The White Sox overcame three errors by shortstop Alexei Ramirez to hand the AL Central leaders their fourth loss in five games.
“We battled again,” Scherzer said. “We’re playing good baseball. We’re playing hard. We’re doing a lot of things right.
“Sometimes when you get on highs, you also can get on lows. The only thing you can really focus on is making sure you’re playing good baseball, and that’s what we’re doing.”
Yet, it’s not translating to wins at the moment. The Tigers dropped two of three to the struggling Yankees in New York over the weekend and they’re on the verge of a three-game sweep by the AL Central’s last-place team.
The winning rally started when Jeremy Bonderman (2-4) walked Garcia leading off and threw high to second after fielding Jeff Keppinger’s bunt. Then, with one out, he walked Tyler Flowers to load the bases.
Phil Coke came in and De Aza lined a single to right. That made a winner of Addison Reed (5-1), who worked two scoreless innings.
“You can’t afford to put guys on base and give them free passes. It’s my fault,” Bonderman said.
Detroit’s Brayan Pena singled in a run against Nate Jones in the eighth to tie it at 3-all.
The White Sox left two runners on in the ninth against Bruce Rondon, and Detroit had runners on first and third with two outs in the 11th when Reed knocked down Miguel Cabrera’s grounder up the middle. Ramirez charged in and barely threw out a sliding Cabrera at first to end the threat and prevent the go-ahead run, and the White Sox won it in the bottom half.
Cabrera’s home run streak ended at four games. He was 0 for 5.
Scherzer was in line for just his second loss of the season and Chicago’s Hector Santiago was heading toward his first win since June 21.
All that changed in the eighth.
The White Sox were leading 3-2 when Jones walked Victor Martinez leading off the inning and Ramirez deflected Omar Infante’s grounder up the middle with one out for his second error, putting runners on first and third.
Don Kelly, running for Martinez, then scored the tying run on Pena’s single to right.
Off to the best start in franchise history at 17-1, Scherzer looked like he was headed toward the loss even though he had only one real hiccup.
He lasted six innings and gave up four hits and three runs — all in the fourth.
He hit Gordon Beckham in the left elbow and walked Ramirez to start the inning. Garcia, acquired from Detroit in the trade that sent Jake Peavy from Chicago to Boston, drove a two-run triple down the right-field line with two outs and came around on an errant relay to third by Infante.
That gave the White Sox a 3-1 lead, and it seemed that would be enough for Santiago, who had root canal on Tuesday and wasn’t sure he’d be able to pitch in this one.
He’s now 0-2 in his last nine starts because the White Sox couldn’t hold the lead for him.
Santiago gave up six hits and left up two runs after Martinez lined a single off the left-field wall leading off the sixth. Martinez scored when Ramirez threw wide to first trying to complete a double play on Pena’s grounder, making it 3-2.
“This wasn’t our ballgame to win, plain and simple,” Scherzer said.
NOTES: Tigers manager Jim Leyland had no timetable for Octavio Dotel’s return. Sidelined since April 20 because of inflammation in his pitching elbow, the right-hander threw a scoreless inning for Class A Lakeland on Monday. … White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams said he never envisioned the team sinking so low and wasn’t sure what the lineup will look like next season. “We’re looking at who deserves to be asked back,” Williams said. “Because this is not White Sox baseball in no way, shape or form.” He also said Adam Dunn hasn’t met expectations in his three seasons in Chicago until recently, adding, “There is a human element to the game, too; sometimes you just don’t get it done.” He also said he would be surprised if Paul Konerko doesn’t finish the season in Chicago. Konerko has been with the White Sox since 1999 and can veto any trade. … RHP Rick Porcello (8-6, 4.32 ERA) starts Wednesday for Detroit, with LHP John Danks (2-10, 4.52) pitching for Chicago.
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