DETROIT (AP) — The Chicago White Sox spent nearly a month in first place.
Then they arrived in Detroit, where so much has gone wrong for them over the last couple seasons.
Miguel Cabrera homered twice, reaching the 300 mark for his career and helping the Detroit Tigers finish a three-game sweep of the White Sox with a 6-4 victory Sunday. Detroit wrapped up a 6-1 homestand against the White Sox and Los Angeles Angels and now leads the AL Central by 1½ games over Chicago.
“We took one on the chin,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
The White Sox have lost five straight. They’ve also lost 15 of their last 18 at Detroit’s Comerica Park.
Chicago fell out of first place Saturday for the first time since taking over the top spot June 24. They dropped further behind Sunday thanks to Cabrera’s bat.
Cabrera became the second Venezuela-born player to reach 300 home runs. Andres Galarraga hit 399.
“For my country, yes, it’s very special,” Cabrera said. “Hopefully a lot of players can follow from Venezuela and try hitting 300 more.”
Quintin Berry and Brennan Boesch also homered for Detroit to help rookie Jacob Turner (1-1) earn his first career win. Four relievers pitched for the Tigers, with Joaquin Benoit working a perfect ninth for his second save of the year.
Philip Humber (4-5) allowed six runs in three innings. Alex Rios and Kevin Youkilis homered for the White Sox.
The Tigers have won 16 of 21.
Turner, Detroit’s rookie right-hander, bounced back after giving up seven runs in two innings in his last start against the Angels. He went 5 1-3 innings, allowing three runs and seven hits. He struck out three without a walk before being lifted after Rios hit a two-run homer in the sixth.
By then, Cabrera and Detroit’s offense had already provided plenty of support. After an RBI single in the top of the first by Rios, the Tigers scored three runs in the bottom half before Humber retired a batter. Berry’s two-run homer gave Detroit the lead, and Cabrera followed with a high drive that cleared the fence just to the left of center field for homer No. 299.
“I picked the wrong day to get balls up in the zone,” Humber said. “The stuff was there, but when you are facing that team, and especially that team when they are hot, your stuff doesn’t matter if you leave it up.”
Cabrera’s second homer, in the third inning, was even longer, off the ivy beyond the wall in center. A Tigers spokesman, citing ESPN Stats and Info, said it was estimated at 457 feet.
It was Cabrera’s 23rd homer of the year, and he became the 14th player to reach 300 before turning 30, according to STATS, LLC. Cabrera was 29 years, 95 days old Sunday. When Hank Aaron was that age, he had 309 home runs, according to STATS. Barry Bonds had 222 by that age.
Boesch added a two-run shot later in the third to make it 6-1. Humber allowed seven hits and a walk with no strikeouts. He’s 3-5 with a 7.55 ERA since pitching a perfect game at Seattle on April 21.
The White Sox chipped away after Humber was taken out. Rios’ hit was ruled a homer after umpires consulted replay footage, and Youkilis hit a solo shot off Phil Coke in the seventh.
Octavio Dotel, the third Detroit reliever, came on with one out and a man on in the seventh and retired all five hitters he faced, with four strikeouts.
The White Sox were swept in a series for the first time all season.
NOTES: Coke was pitching for the first time since his wife gave birth to a baby girl. Mickenzie LouAnn was born Saturday morning. … The Tigers could afford to go deep into their bullpen with an off day coming up Monday. Chicago hosts Minnesota, with RHP Gavin Floyd (7-8) returning from a problem with his throwing elbow to start against Minnesota LHP Francisco Liriano (3-9). … The White Sox optioned LHP Donnie Veal to Triple-A Charlotte after the game to make room for Floyd. … Reliever Brett Myers, traded from Houston to the White Sox on Saturday, did not pitch Sunday. “I got in at 4:15 this morning, because my plane got delayed,” Myers said. “I’m happy to be here. It’s huge coming to a winning team. I hope they can build something in Houston with the kids, but you want to be in the pennant race, and that’s what I’ve got here.”
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