Long rain delay doesn't dampen Detroit's play

CHICAGO (AP) -- The few hundred fans who waited out the rain and stuck around into the early morning hours certainly got their money's worth.

Down 9-1 in the fifth, the Chicago White Sox rallied with two-out, back-to-back homers in the ninth. But Chris Mears retired Paul Konerko on a flyout, preserving the Detroit Tigers' 10-9 victory over the White Sox on Thursday night in a game delayed more than three hours by rain.

"It's been a long day, to say the least," Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. "It was our highest scoring game of the season, and we needed every one of the runs."

Dmitri Young homered and drove in three runs and Kevin Witt went 4-for-4 with a walk and two RBI for the Tigers, who had a season-high 16 hits. Detroit has won six of its last nine games, as well as six of its last seven against the White Sox.

The loss dropped Chicago eight games behind Kansas City in the AL Central. After taking nine of 12 from the crosstown Cubs and Minnesota Twins, the White Sox have now dropped eight of 11 against Detroit, Tampa Bay and Cleveland -- all sub-.500 teams.

At least the White Sox made a game of this one. Miguel Olivo hit a three-run homer in the seventh to pull Chicago within 9-5. Then, with two outs in the ninth, Carlos Lee hit a three-run shot off Mears.

Carl Everett followed with a solo blast before Mears got the final out.

Had Frank Thomas not been doubled off on a base-running blunder in the sixth, the ending might have been different.

"They came out and were aggressive," Lee said. "It was a tough day out there today."

And to think, the White Sox could have put this off.

A storm rolled through Chicago about an hour before the game, bringing lightning and heavy rain. So much rain fell that there were large puddles on the blue tarp covering the field. At one point, Mark Buehrle and Billy Koch came out and slid headfirst through the puddles, drawing cheers from the fans huddled on the concourse.

Twice the grounds crew took off the tarp and got the field ready only to have another big storm roll through.

The game finally began at 10:11 p.m. CT, after a delay of three hours and six minutes.

"I can't believe this game started, especially this late," Young said. "Somebody on the other side wanted to get this game going. Well, we got it going and we are happy to win."

The Tigers jumped on Bartolo Colon (6-9) early, chasing him after just 3 2/3 innings and a whopping 104 pitches. That's more pitches than he needed in three of his five complete games this season.

He gave up five runs and seven hits, walking four and throwing two wild pitches. He has lost his last four decisions and hasn't won since June 7.

"We are a little concerned, no doubt about that," White Sox manager Jerry Manuel said. "He seems to be not locating his pitches very well, and if he's not locating, he cannot get away with it."

Young worked Colon to a full count before hitting a monster shot to right that gave Detroit a 2-0 lead in the first. It was the 19th homer of the year for Young.

"Those rain delays probably hurt Bartolo because he is a tight muscle man ... whereas Mike Maroth is a little rubber-arm guy," Young said. "His arm doesn't take much to get warm, but for Bartolo, I know it is tough for him, having to stop-go, stop-go and then finally start at 10:15 p.m."

Maroth (5-13) gave up five runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Colon loaded the bases with back-to-back, two-out walks to Craig Monroe and Eric Munson before striking out A.J. Hinch. He wasn't so fortunate in the fourth. After walking Young to load the bases, he gave up a two-run single to Witt that gave Detroit a 5-1 lead.

David Sanders relieved, but he wasn't much better. With two outs in the fifth, Sanders gave up RBI singles to Alex Sanchez and Young and a two-run single to Warren Morris.

Game notes
Colon threw 43 pitches in the first inning alone. ... His outing was his shortest since Oct. 4, 2001, when he went 1 1/3 innings for Cleveland at Kansas City. ... Hinch left the game with a strained groin after singling in the fifth inning. He'll be re-evaluated Friday. ... Witt's four hits were a career high.