- Bruce Levine, Chicago baseball beat reporter
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How it happened: Chris Sale, who was looking to rebound from a poor outing in Baltimore (four innings, four earned runs in 76 pitches), gave up two costly home runs. The Tigers’ Brennan Boesch hit a game-tying homer in the fifth and then Delmon Young hit his second big home run of the series in the sixth with Omar Infante and Miguel Cabrera on base. Sale has surrendered at least one home run in his last eight starts and 12 total. The White Sox had gotten off to a much-needed good start when Alejandro De Aza hit a home run to lead off the game on Justin Verlander’s second pitch of the evening. De Aza’s homer came on his first at-bat after returning from the disabled list with bruised ribs. The Sox scored another run in the ninth off Tigers closer Jose Valverde on Dan Johnson's single to right that scored pinch runner Julio Lopez, but the rally fell short.
What it means: Verlander was dominant and the Tigers have moved into a first-place tie with the Sox after completing the three-game sweep. The Sox, who have basically stopped hitting and pitching, lost six of seven games on the road trip. Chicago has lost seven straight to the Tigers in 2012. They have also lost 18 of their last 21 at Comerica Park. The slumping pale hose are in a bad funk on the road, period, having lost nine of their last 10 road games. All is not lost considering the Sox return home for a 10-game homestand at U.S. Cellular Field, where they have won six in row.
Outside the box: Adam Dunn missed his second straight game with a strained oblique. Dunn said he expects to back on the field within a couple of days, but expect the Sox to be more cautious in their approach to the injury. … Right-hander Gavin Floyd will throw off the mound Monday for the first time since injuring his elbow and going on the disabled list July 28. Sox manager Robin Ventura said there is no timetable for Floyd’s return right now. … Right-hander Dylan Axelrod will return to the Sox after the Triple-A season ends on Tuesday. Axelrod will be in the mix along with Philip Humber and Hector Santiago for spot starting in Floyd’s slot of the rotation.
Up next: The White Sox return home to play the Minnesota Twins Monday in a 6 p.m. CT start. Sox left-hander Hector Santiago (2-1, 3.91 ERA) will face right-hander Samuel Deduno (5-2, 3.72) in the first game of a three-game set.
Rapid Reaction: Chris Sale gave up two homers as the Tigers swept the Sox.