DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Tigers got two things they needed Sunday afternoon.
They put up big runs, got four scoreless innings from their bullpen and ended a four-game losing streak with a 7-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
“We’ve been quiet with the bats, but we got two in the ninth yesterday, so maybe that was the turning point,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “We were much better today, and the pitching held on for us.”
Jordan Zimmermann (3-1) picked up a sloppy victory, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks in five-plus innings. He struck out five and gave up one homer.
Miguel Gonzalez (3-1) allowed seven runs on a career-high 14 hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out one as the White Sox lost their six-game winning streak.
“I was up with every pitch, and they were barreling up every mistake I made,” he said. “I just need to flush this one and move on.”
The White Sox took a 1-0 lead in the first on Jose Abreu’s RBI triple
Justin Upton’s fifth homer tied the game in the second. He then led off the fourth with a single, moved to second on Alex Avila’s hit and scored on Jim Adduci’s double to left-center field.
John Hicks made it four straight hits with an RBI single off Gonzalez to make it 3-1, and Adduci scored when Iglesias grounded out. Nick Castellanos finished the inning with an RBI single to make it a four-run game.
Melky Cabrera answered with an RBI single in the fifth, pulling the White Sox within 5-2, but Iglesias’ two-run double in the bottom of the inning put the Tigers up by five.
Todd Frazier led off the sixth with a long homer, but Chicago couldn’t score against Blaine Hardy and three other relievers.
White Sox: RHP James Shields, on the disabled list for the first time in his career, threw on Saturday and reported no problems with his strained right lat. After playing light catch for about 40 throws, he said that the way his arm reacts will determine if he will need a rehab start before joining the White Sox.
Tigers: CF JaCoby Jones went 1 for 7 in a rehab doubleheader for Triple-A Toledo on Saturday. Jones, who went on the disabled list on April 23 after being hit in the mouth by a pitch, was making his first rehab appearances.
RENTERIA SAVES GARCIA FROM HIMSELF
Renteria decided to pull Avisail Garcia in the fifth inning, knowing his right fielder wouldn’t ask to come out of the game. Garcia has been dealing with groin tightness throughout the series.
“It was pretty wet out there after the rain early in the game, and he only knows how to play at top speed,” Renteria said. “I just decided to be safe and get him out of there before it became a problem. Right now, I don’t see any reason he wouldn’t play tomorrow.”
DOING QUICK DAMAGE
The Tigers brought nine batters to the plate in their four-run fourth inning, but faced just 14 pitches from Gonzalez. Every hitter either got a hit or made an out on the first or second pitch of their at-bat.
“We just kept barreling up balls early in the count — there wasn’t any plan to attack him,” Avila said. “It just happened that way. We knew we needed to get Zimm a lead, and we had a great inning.”
IN THE RACE AFTER ONE MONTH
Sunday’s loss meant that the White Sox finish May a half-game behind Cleveland in the AL Central, but that’s higher than almost anyone predicted for them.
“We’re excited, because we’re playing well as a team,” Gonzalez said. “We lost today, but we won two of three here, and now we want to go to Kansas City and win another series. We believe that we can keep doing this.”
White Sox: RHP Dylan Covey (0-1, 6.91) faces Kansas City LHP Jason Vargas (3-1, 1.40) in the first of a four-game series at Kauffman Stadium. The White Sox swept the Royals earlier this week in Chicago.
Tigers: LHP Daniel Norris (1-2, 4.71) takes on Indians RHP Trevor Bauer as Cleveland comes to Comerica Park for four games.
(TM and © Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)