CHICAGO - Mike Hessman hit a go-ahead two-run single with two outs in the seventh inning - hours after being called up from the Mud Hens - to lead the Detroit Tigers past the Chicago White Sox 9-6 last night.
Curtis Granderson went 3-for-3, including a leadoff homer, a walk and a hit-batsman, and drove in four runs as the Tigers increased their lead in the AL Central to two games over Cleveland.
Jason Grilli (4-2) pitched 11/3 innings of relief to earn the victory for the Tigers, who have won 12 of their last 16. Todd Jones pitched a perfect ninth for his 27th save in 32 chances.
Josh Fields hit a two-run homer for Chicago, which has lost eight of its last 11 and is a season-high 16 1/2 games behind the Tigers.
Trailing 6-5 in the seventh inning with one out, the Tigers came back against White Sox ace Mark Buehrle (7-6). He gave up three consecutive singles to Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Guillen and Ivan Rodriguez hit consecutive single to load the bases.
Ehren Wassermann came in and got pinch-hitter Sean Casey to pop out, but Hessman followed by dropping down a single into right.
Rodriguez also tried to score on a wild pitch by Wassermann, but was tagged out after catcher A.J. Pierzynski flipped the ball to Wassermann at the plate.
Before the game, the Tigers purchased the contract of Hessman from Triple-A Toledo and optioned outfielder Timo Perez to the Mud Hens. Hessman led the International League with 27 home runs.
The Tigers got insurance runs in the eighth inning. Granderson scored on Gary Sheffield's sacrifice fly and Ordonez drove in Placido Polanco to make it 9-6.
Buehrle lasted 61/3 innings, but gave up a season-high seven runs and tied a career high with 14 hits allowed. He struck out five and walked two.
After getting the first two outs in the sixth inning, Tigers reliever Macay McBride walked Jermaine Dye. Grilli came in and walked the next two batters to load the bases, then plunked pinch-hitter Rob Mackowiak with a fastball to give the White Sox a 6-5 lead.
Tigers starter rookie Andrew Miller couldn't hold a 5-2 lead. He gave up a run on Jim Thome's fielder's choice in the fourth. Pierzynski hit an infield single off Miller in the fifth inning and Dye followed with an RBI double to cut the Tigers' lead to 5-4.
After a two-out walk to Andy Gonzalez and an infield single by Jerry Owens to load the bases, Miller walked Tadahito Iguchi to tie it at 5.
Miller lasted just 42/3 innings in his ninth career start. He gave up a season-high 10 hits and allowed five runs in his shortest outing. He struck out seven and walked five.
Granderson broke a 2-2 tie in the fourth inning with a with a two-run double with bases loaded off Buehrle. Polanco drove in Brandon Inge on an infield single giving the Tigers a 5-2 lead.
NOTES: The White Sox honored former Sox pitcher Billy Pierce before the game with a life-sized statue that is displayed on the left-center field concourse at U.S. Cellular Field. ... The Tigers will recall Virgil Vasquez from Triple-A Toledo to pitch in the second game of the doubleheader against the White Sox on Tuesday. ... The White Sox will recall Gavin Floyd from Triple-A Charlotte to start in the second game of the doubleheader.41.88415 -87.63241