ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge
DETROIT — Adam Dunn helped the Chicago White Sox break through against Justin Verlander — not with one of his prodigious home runs, but with a sharp single that somehow rolled through to the outfield.
That summed up a successful night for the White Sox, who beat Verlander and the Detroit Tigers 8-2 Friday in their first game after the All-Star break.
“We were able to scratch and claw,” Dunn said. “Beating the best pitcher in baseball — that’s a good way to start the second half.”
Gavin Floyd allowed six hits into the eighth inning, and Carlos Quentin had three hits and three RBIs for the White Sox. Chicago scored four runs off Verlander in the third inning — more than the Detroit ace had allowed in any start since May 24.
Verlander (12-5) threw six innings, his shortest outing since that same date.
The night began like most of Verlander’s recent starts. He retired the first seven White Sox, striking out three.
Gordon Beckham lined a single to left field, giving Chicago its first baserunner. Mark Teahen followed with a single up the middle and Juan Pierre bunted toward first base for a hit, driving in a run.
Two batters later, with the bases loaded, Adam Dunn pulled a grounder into right field for a two-run single. Detroit had an infielder playing in shallow right as part of a defensive shift, but the ball still went through.
“I left a changeup up to Dunn and he hit it sharply, but that was about it,” Verlander said. “There was a jam job, a bunt and a ball off the end of the bat. That’s baseball — guys are going to find holes.”
Quentin’s RBI single made it 4-0.
Verlander allowed five runs — four earned — on seven hits. He walked two and struck out six.
Floyd (7-9) allowed two runs — one earned — and struck out five in 7 2-3 innings. He walked one.
Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer for Detroit in the fourth, and later added a single for his 1,500th career hit.
The White Sox improved to 9-16 against AL Central opponents this season. Detroit is 18-9 within the division, a big reason why the Tigers entered the night in a virtual tie for first with Cleveland.
Detroit is a game behind now. The White Sox trail the Indians by five.
“We’re going to win it all,” Beckham said jokingly when asked about the importance of winning the first game after the break.
Still, this was a nice victory for the White Sox, who had lost six straight at Detroit.
“It’s a good start,” Beckham said. “We want to go to the playoffs. You’ve got to beat this team.”
Detroit scored two runs in the fourth when Magglio Ordonez struck out but reached on a passed ball, and Cabrera followed with his 19th homer of the season.
Chicago scored in the fifth when Pierre reached on an error by second baseman Ryan Raburn, went to third on a double by Alexei Ramirez and scored on a grounder by Quentin.
Quentin made it 6-2 with an RBI single in the seventh, and Beckham added a two-run single later in the inning.
Detroit finally knocked Floyd out of the game with two out in the eighth. Brian Bruney came on and faced one batter, walking Cabrera to load the bases before Will Ohman struck out Victor Martinez to end the threat.
NOTES: Floyd has walked three or fewer batters in 46 consecutive starts. . Cabrera received a nice ovation from the sellout crowd at Comerica Park after hit No. 1,500. He took off his helmet at first base to acknowledge the fans. . Tigers manager Jim Leyland started Don Kelly at 3B in place of the struggling Brandon Inge, who entered the game with a .184 average. Inge pinch-hit in the ninth and flied out to deep right. . Detroit CF Austin Jackson was a late scratch because of left wrist soreness.