CHICAGO - At long last, the Chicago White Sox are getting the starting pitching they expected. And they're getting much more than they anticipated from ageless Omar Vizquel.
The 43-year-old Vizquel homered for the first time in nearly a year and also had a suicide-squeeze bunt in support of John Danks, who pitched seven innings of one-hit ball as Chicago beat the Detroit Tigers 3-0 yesterday.
"We're better than what we've done," said Danks, who was 1-5 with a 5.05 ERA in his previous seven starts. "We know we can get outs, get deep in games and give us a chance to win every time out. This might be the run that gets us on a roll."
During an expletive-filled postgame rant after the Tigers got held to three hits, manager Jim Leyland said White Sox starters couldn't have gotten on a roll without significant help from Detroit's flailing batters.
Ticking off the names of Gavin Floyd, Freddy Garcia, and Danks, Leyland said, "You've got to hit somebody."
"They're good pitchers, don't misunderstand me. But three straight days, inning after inning, day after day," he said. "I'm not upset with anybody, I'm just stating fact."
The Tigers were 24-17 and tied for first place on May 20 but are 6-12 since.
Max Scherzer (2-6) pitched well for the Tigers - three runs on five hits in 71/3 innings - but allowed homers to Vizquel and A.J. Pierzynski and earned his manager's ire by failing to execute a pitchout on Vizquel's sixth-inning squeeze.
"Cost him a run," Leyland said. "You can't make those mistakes."
Vizquel had been a seldom-used utility infielder this season until third baseman Mark Teahen broke his finger two weeks ago. Vizquel was batting .196 on May 29 but is hitting .344 with eight RBIs in nine games since Teahen's injury.
Danks (5-5) walked four and struck out four. Carlos Guillen's second-inning single was the only hit he allowed.
He was helped by the ailing Tigers slugger Magglio Ordonez, who is batting .609 in 23 at-bats against the left-hander. Ordonez, who has a .336 career average against the Chisox.
Sergio Santos relieved to start the eighth with a 2-0 lead and gave up Gerald Laird's single before walking Austin Jackson and Johnny Damon.
NOTES: Tigers placed RHP Ryan Perry on the 15-day DL, retroactive to June 7; promoted RHP Enrique Gonzalez from Toledo.