Rapid Reaction: Tigers 5, White Sox 1

September, 1, 2012
9/01/12
9:23
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
DETROIT -- A quick look at the Chicago White Sox's 5-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Saturday night at Comerica Park.

How it happened: White Sox starter Francisco Liriano continued to struggle with walks and pitch count. The left-hander allowed seven walks while giving up three runs in just four innings and one batter faced in the fifth. Liriano’s pitch count reached 100 before he came out of the game. Rookie right fielder Avisail Garcia drove in the Tigers’ third run with his first major league hit off reliever Nate Jones. The Sox offense had no answers for solving the offerings of Detroit starter Max Scherzer. Scherzer allowed just four hits through eight innings while striking out nine in winning his 15th game of the season. The White Sox scored their run in the ninth, when Orlando Hudson tripled to deep center, scoring Paul Konerko, who had doubled.

What it means: The White Sox’s lead dwindled to just one game over the Tigers in the American League Central. The Sox have lost five of the six games so far on this pivotal road trip, and it was a stressful night for the bullpen due to Liriano’s wildness. Detroit’s dominance in the season series might start to get in the White Sox’s heads, as the Sox now have lost six straight to the Tigers and nine of 13. The White Sox have lost 12 of their past 13 games at Comerica Park.

Outside the box: Manager Robin Ventura took advantage of September call-ups, matching up relievers to hitters in order to keep the game close. Ventura used four relief pitchers to pitch to eight Detroit hitters in the fifth and sixth innings. ... DH Adam Dunn was scratched from the Saturday lineup with a strained oblique. Dunn was injured Wednesday in Baltimore. He likely will miss Sunday’s matchup with RHP Justin Verlander. Veteran Dan Johnson went 1-for-3 in place of Dunn. Johnson had not played in the majors in 2012.

Up next: The matchup of the season has 15-game winner Chris Sale (15-5, 2.81 ERA) and Verlander (12-7, 2.80) going head to head on ESPN’s "Sunday Night Baseball."

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jose Abreu
BA HR RBI R
.312 33 97 70
OTHER LEADERS
HRJ. Abreu 33
RBIJ. Abreu 97
RJ. Abreu 70
OPSJ. Abreu .969
WC. Sale 10
ERAC. Sale 2.03
SOC. Sale 165