How it happened: Delmon Young's three-run double off of Sox reliever Matt Thornton sealed the Tigers’ victory in the seventh inning. The matchup and the hype did not equal the quality of play on the field. Two teams battling for first place looked tired and out of sync. Neither Sox starter Jake Peavy nor Tigers starter Doug Fister had his good stuff. Fister lasted five innings, walking four and hitting two batters. The Tigers’ defense did him no favors, making two errors (both by Miguel Cabrera) and extending innings with lackluster play. Peavy had no breaking ball to speak of and got by on guile during most of his outing, in which the change-up saved him. Peavy threw 106 pitches and came out in the bottom of the seventh with two on and nobody out. Peavy has won just three games since May 26.
What it means: The White Sox’s AL Central lead shrunk to just two games. Both teams were coming off of failed series and needed the first -- and usually pivotal -- game of this big late-summer contest. The two clubs downplayed the meaning of the series. The White Sox were 0- 12 with runners in scoring position through seven innings, leaving 11 men on base, including one when Gordon Beckham’s 10-pitch at-bat in the seventh ended in a lineout to center field, ending the inning.
Outside the box: Catcher Tyler Flowers returns to the White Sox on Saturday after paternity leave. The rosters expand on Sept. 1 and the Sox will bring a couple of arms up, but don’t expect all the callups at one time. Catcher Hector Gimenez will stay as the third catcher. Injured starter Gavin Floyd played catch during a light-toss session. There is no timetable yet for Floyd’s return.