DETROIT -- Chicago did something Thursday it hasn't been doing a lot this season, win a series on the road. The White Sox beat the American League Central Division leading Detroit Tigers 6-3 on Thursday afternoon at Comerica Park to win just their fourth road series of the season. It's also just their second win in Detroit in their last 10 games.
How it happened: Trailing 3-1 in the top of the sixth inning, the White Sox loaded the bases with the aid of an error and a walk, which was followed by a grand slam from rookie catcher Joshua Phegley. Of his four hits this season, three have been home runs. Chicago starter Chris Sale was solid striking out eight and allowing 10 hits and two walks in 6 2/3 innings to pick up his sixth win of the season. Alejandro De Aza had three hits, one of which was a solo homer in the eighth inning. Shortstop Alexei Ramirez left the game with cramping in his right leg in the sixth.
What it means: There was a bench clearing incident in the top of the sixth inning that resulted in the tossing of Tigers relief pitcher Luke Putkonen. After a grand slam from Phegley, Putkonen threw behind Ramirez which prompted both teams to clear their dugouts and bullpens when the White Sox shortstop gestured at the Tigers reliever as he walked slowly at him before being restrained by Detroit catcher Brayan Pena. Ramirez was the second batter Putkonen had faced after getting De Aza to fly out to left field. In the bottom of the fifth, Sale came up and in with a fastball to Detroit's Prince Fielder that manager Jim Leyland felt there should have been a warning for. This came on the first pitch after Miguel Cabrera hit a solo homer.
Outside the box: Chicago had trouble getting the final out of innings over the last two games of the series with Detroit. The Tigers' first two runs of Thursday's game came with two outs in the bottom of the second. The third run came on a two-out homer from Cabrera. On Wednesday, all eight of Detroit's runs were scored with two outs.
Off beat: After tying an American League record with six hits in a nine-inning game in the series opener with the Tigers, Alex Rios proceeded to be retired six straight times before walking on his seventh at bat since that accomplishment. He was promptly thrown out trying to steal. He successfully stole two bases on his 6-for-6 night. He recorded his seventh hit of the series in the sixth and walked in the eighth. Rios finished 7-for-13 in the series.
Up next: Chicago begins its final three-game series before the All-Star break Friday at Philadelphia. The White Sox will send left-hander John Danks (2-5, 4.31 ERA) to the mound. The Phillies' scheduled starter is right-hander Jonathan Pettibone (5-3, 3.84) in the 6:05 p.m. CST start time at Citizens Bank Park.