CHICAGO -- Todd Frazier's sacrifice fly to deep right-center snapped a seventh-inning tie and gave the White Sox a 5-3 victory over the Tigers Wednesday night at U.S. Cellular Field. The win gave the South Siders a 10-23 record over their last 33 games, after going 23-10 to start the season.
"You just can't explain it. It's just the way it goes," said Frazier of the team's strange 33-game stretches. "It could be one thing. It might even be Tim Anderson coming in here and rejuvenating our team or Chris Sale doing what he had to do today. We just can't explain it. When you're struggling, something just clicks and it's just weird. It's tough to explain. Just keep on winning, keep on rolling."
Sale picked up his Major League-best 11th win by allowing three runs on six hits over seven innings, while fanning seven and walking one. Detroit mustered a Justin Upton single and an Ian Kinsler hit by pitch over the last four innings against Sale. The White Sox improved to 3-10-1 in their last 14 series.
The Tigers scored all three of their runs in the third courtesy of Jose Iglesias' opposite-field two-run homer and Nick Castellanos' run-scoring single after an intentional walk issued to Miguel Cabrera. Detroit could have scored more but center fielder J.B. Shuck threw out James McCann at the plate on Mike Aviles' single to center. Mike Pelfrey suffered the loss, yielding four runs on seven hits in six-plus innings.
"It was well played on both sides," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "You're not going to score nine or 11 runs every night, especially when you go up against a guy like Chris Sale. We only won one out of three, which is disappointing … but we'll move on to Kansas City."
The White Sox scored their first three runs on a Melky Cabrera sacrifice fly in the first, a Brett Lawrie groundout in the fourth and an Adam Eaton groundout in the fifth after a leadoff triple by Anderson, who went 3-for-4 from the top of the lineup. Shuck added a run-scoring triple in the eighth.
"A team like that, they're tough, and we know what we're getting when we face those guys, or for that matter, anybody in our division," Sale said. "Hopefully it gives us a little boost going forward."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
One-two punch: Anderson and Eaton moved to the one and two spots, respectively, in the White Sox order to begin this three-game set with Detroit. With Anderson's three hits and Eaton's two hits and reaching base on a hit by pitch in the finale, they reached base a combined 16 times in the series.
"We felt he was ready to go and he's brought a spark definitely," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Anderson. "I think even Adam hitting second is just another element for him that he's improved on and has been able to improve on. I think he enjoys being in that spot." More >
Not enough gas: Ausmus let Pelfrey start the seventh inning with the score tied, 3-3, despite a rising pitch count, and it ended up proving costly. Pelfrey gave up a leadoff single to Anderson before he was pulled after 90 pitches. The White Sox ended up scoring on Frazier's sacrifice fly, putting Pelfrey on the hook for the loss. Pelfrey held his own in a duel against Sale, but also allowed the leadoff batter to reach in five of his seven innings. The right-hander is 1-7 this season.
"A couple leadoff walks … he pitched well though," Ausmus said. "His velocity was good, got ground balls, got a couple double plays. He certainly kept us in the game and gave us a chance to win."
Giving a little extra: Sale didn't quite reach his season-high in pitches, throwing 120 on May 7 against the Twins. But with a team off-day on Thursday, the White Sox pushed their ace to 119 pitches Wednesday. He retired eight of the final nine hitters faced.
"I'm fine. Everyone has to put in extra hours at work, so it's part of it," a smiling Sale said. "That's my goal every time out, get as deep into the game as I can. We use our bullpen quite a lot. Those guys are tough down there, but you try to give them a break when you can." More >
Iglesias provides unlikely pop: Iglesias gave Tigers a boost in the third after McCann was thrown out at home. He hit an opposite-field two-run home run against Sale to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, the longest active streak in the Majors. Iglesias -- who also made highlight reels with a crazy glove flip to second base -- has two home runs this season, and they have come against Sale and Nationals ace Max Scherzer.
"I just try to compete every at-bat," Iglesias said. "Every at-bat is the same. Every at-bat matters. I take every at-bat like it's my last one." More >
"You can't get down on yourself or throw parties any time you lose or win. It's a long season, and we're not going to the World Series tomorrow, and we're not going to the World Series yesterday." -- Sale
"We've got our work cut out for us -- we've got to keep grinding." -- Ventura, whose club sits in fourth place, 2 1/2 games out of first
CLIMBING THE K RANKS
Sale's seven strikeouts moved him to 1,104 for his career and also pushed him by Gary Peters (1,098) and by friend and former teammate John Danks (1,102) for sixth place in franchise history. Wilbur Wood is next on the list at 1,332.
ROOKIE, MEET MIGGY
Few players have as much fun playing the game as Miguel Cabrera. Anderson learned that first-hand these past three days against the Tigers.
"He said a few things, just playing around and slapping my glove down. He was pretty awesome," Anderson said. "When he gets on second, he blows me a kiss. He's pretty funny."
Tigers:Justin Verlander (6-5, 3.77 ERA) will start the opener of a four-game series at Kansas City on Thursday. In his past seven starts, the right-hander is 4-2 with a 1.93 ERA.
White Sox: After Thursday's off-day, Jose Quintana (5-7, 2.66 ERA) takes the mound Friday to open a three-game series in Cleveland and a six-game road trip. Quintana has lost six straight starts, despite ranking fifth in the American League in ERA.
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