Ordonez hit a pair of homers and Kenny Rogers pitched six
shutout innings while battling the flu Monday night, sending the
Detroit Tigers to an 8-2 victory and increasing their lead in the
Kenny Rogers' Season at a Glance
First 18 starts
Next 6 starts
Last 7 starts
"Every game is important," Ordonez said. "You've got
Minnesota and the White Sox. We've got a chance now, but we've got
to keep going. We have 12 games left. A lot of things can happen."
Ordonez's two homers off Mark Buehrle -- who gave up hits to the
first four batters he faced before a triple play bailed him out --
came right after another former White Sox star, Frank Thomas,
homered Saturday and Sunday as Oakland swept Chicago."They've done it their whole careers. Just because they're
wearing another uniform doesn't change anything," Buehrle said."I haven't hit many home runs in Chicago in the last two years,
so this was nice. It was nice to do something to help us win,"
Ordonez said.The Tigers lead Minnesota, which was idle Monday night, by 1½
games in the division and are six games ahead of the defending
World Series champion White Sox, whose return to the playoffs is in
deep jeopardy after a sixth loss in eight games.
The Tigers improved to 14-24 since Aug. 8, but only one major league team is worse in that time -- the Devil Rays (10-27).The White Sox peaked at 27 games over .500 (56-29) on July 6 and are 28-37 since then.
"We need next to a miracle to probably catch them
division-wise, but we're not eliminated from the wild card yet,"
Chicago's Paul Konerko said. "That's how we have to look at it."Rogers (16-6) allowed just four hits, escaped several jams and
is 5-1 over his last nine starts. He improved to 3-1 against the
White Sox this season and has allowed three earned runs in 33
innings against Chicago.He was too sick to come back out for the seventh inning."After the sixth inning he just said his legs gave out, so we
had to make a move," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "I was
trying to get more out of him if I could. He was spent."Jim Thome's 40th homer, a solo shot off Fernando Rodney in the
eighth, ended the Tigers' shutout bid. Pinch-hitter Josh Fields
homered in the ninth in his first big league at-bat for the White
Sox.Craig Monroe also connected off Buehrle (12-13) in the first.
Buehrle, just 3-7 in the second half, gave up 10 hits and four runs
in 6 2/3 innings.Detroit's first four batters got hits off Buehrle in a span of
nine pitches.Curtis Granderson hit a leadoff double and Monroe followed with
his 26th homer. After singles by Marcus Thames and Ordonez, Carlos
Guillen hit a broken-bat, soft liner on a 3-2 pitch that Chicago
third baseman Joe Crede caught as the runners were breaking. He
threw to second baseman Tadahito Iguchi, who stepped on the bag to
double off Thames and then tagged Ordonez to complete the White
Sox's second triple play of the season.Ordonez homered in the fourth and fifth innings, his 21st and
22nd of the season. Brandon Inge added a three-run drive off
Chicago reliever Brandon McCarthy in the ninth for his 25th homer.The White Sox had two runners on in the first, third, fifth and
sixth innings but twice Rogers induced double-play grounders to
escape and another time struck out A.J. Pierzynski. The Tigers
turned a third inning-ending double play in the eighth.
It was Ordonez's 19th multihomer game in his career and
third this year. ... The White Sox, who also turned a triple play
against the Twins on May 14 with Buehrle on the mound, are the
first team since the 1995 Cincinnati Reds to turn two in one
season. The major league record is three in one season, according
to the Elias Sports Bureau. Six teams have accomplished the feat;
Oakland and Boston were the last teams to do it in 1979. ...
Entering the game, Buehrle was 6-1 with a 1.70 ERA against the
Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field. ... Jermaine Dye also has 40 homers,
marking the first time in White Sox history they've had two players
with at least 40 in the same season. ... Fields is the third player
to homer in his first major league at-bat with the White Sox.
Miguel Olivo (2002) and Carlos Lee (1999) are the others.