Swisher's lead-off homer sets tone as Verlander, Tigers fall to 0-6

DETROIT (AP) -- Nick Swisher homered on the second pitch of the game, and it only got worse for the Detroit Tigers.

Mark Buehrle pitched seven strong inning and the Chicago White Sox batters rocked Justin Verlander in a 13-2 rout of the Tigers on Sunday, Detroit's sixth straight loss.

"This is very frustrating," said Verlander, who gave up a career-high nine runs. "I think everyone on this team needs to do some soul searching."

Despite the second-
highest payroll in baseball, the Tigers are the only winless team in the majors and are off to their worst start since going 0-9 in 2003, when they lost an AL-record 119 games.

"I'm sure people are expecting me to rant and rave, but this team has too many professionals for me to have to do that," manager Jim Leyland said. "They shouldn't need to be told what they are doing wrong."

All six of Detroit's losses have come at home, in front of nearly 250,000 fans. Sunday night, one of the few cheers was a sarcastic ovation after Yorman Bazardo got the last out of Chicago's four-run ninth.

"There's no question that we are embarrassed," Carlos Guillen said. "We can't even win one game."

Buehrle (1-0) rebounded from being tagged for seven runs on Opening Day, holding the Tigers to two runs and seven hits. He was helped by double plays in each of his last four innings.

"When I'm getting groundballs and breaking bats, I know that I'm in a groove," he said. "I wanted to keep the team in the game until the bats took over."

Chicago turned five double plays, all in the last six innings.

"I always say that defense wins games," Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said. "That's what happened today. Defense like that makes your pitcher look better."

Verlander (0-1) didn't get much help from his teammates. He allowed five unearned runs and saw several balls scoot through Detroit's infield.

"I was making good pitches and getting groundballs, but they kept going to places where no one could get to them," he said. "That's what makes this so hard."

Swisher hit the first leadoff homer of his career down the right-field line.

"Against a great pitcher like Verlander, I just wanted to go out there and mix things up," he said. "I got a fastball down the middle, got good wood on it and it went out. I was really excited."

The Tigers tied it on Ramon Santiago's RBI double in the third, but Chicago went ahead 3-1 in the fifth on an RBI single by Joe Crede and a run-scoring groundout by Juan Uribe.

The White Sox put the game away with six runs in the sixth. With one out, Paul Konerko reached when Guillen dropped a throw at first, and Jermaine Dye followed with a double. After an intentional walk loaded the bases, Verlander hit Carlos Quentin,who had four RBIs, to force in a run.

Crede and Swisher added RBI singles, chasing Verlander. Orlando Cabrera then made it 9-1 with a three-run double off Aquilino Lopez.

"We made too many inexcusable mistakes tonight," Leyland said. "I don't mean errors -- I don't have a problem with errors. I mean plays that just cannot happen. We have to deal with that."

Detroit made it 9-2 in the seventh when Buehrle threw a fastball over A.J. Pierzynski's glove and directly into the mask of home-plate umpire Jeff Kellogg. Guillen scored on what was ruled a wild pitch. Kellogg stayed in the game after being attended to by the Tigers training staff.

Game notes
Pierzynski was intentionally walked twice for the first time in his career. The White Sox went on to score 10 runs after the walks -- six in the sixth and four in the ninth. ... Brandon Inge became the first major league player to catch and play centerfield in the same game since he did it on July 19, 2004. He and Eli Marrero are the only players to do it since the 2001 season. ... CF Curtis Granderson said after the game that he plans to start rehabbing his broken right hand on Tuesday. "It's going to be baby steps at first. I have to see if I can even grip a bat," said Granderson, who has been out since being hit with a pitch on March 22. "Then we'll see if I can swing or throw a ball"