CHICAGO — Alejandro De Aza singled in the winning run with the bases loaded in the 11th inning to lift the Chicago White Sox to a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night.
Avisail Garcia had two hits against his former team, drove in two runs, and scored two, including the game-winner. The White Sox overcame three errors by shortstop Alexei Ramirez to hand the AL Central leaders their fourth loss in five games.
The winning rally started when Jeremy Bonderman (2-4) walked Garcia leading off and threw high to second after fielding Jeff Keppinger's bunt. Then with one out, he walked Tyler Flowers to load the bases.
Phil Coke came in and De Aza lined a single to right. That made a winner of Addison Reed (5-1), who worked two scoreless innings.
Detroit’s Brayan Pena singled in a run against Nate Jones in the eighth to tie it at 3-all.
The White Sox left two runners on in the ninth against Bruce Rondon, and Detroit had runners on first and third with two outs in the 11th when Reed knocked down Miguel Cabrera’s grounder up the middle. Ramirez charged in and barely threw out a sliding Cabrera at first to end the threat and prevent the go-ahead run, and the White Sox won it in the bottom half.
Cabrera’s home run streak ended at four games. He was 0 for 5.
Detroit’s Max Scherzer was in line for just his second loss of the season and Chicago’s Hector Santiago was heading toward his first win since June 21.
All that changed in the eighth.
The White Sox were leading 3-2 when Jones walked Victor Martinez leading off the inning and Ramirez deflected Omar Infante’s grounder up the middle with one out for his second error, putting runners on first and third.
Don Kelly, running for Martinez, then scored the tying run on Pena’s single to right.
Off to the best start in franchise history, Scherzer looked like he was headed toward the loss even though he had only one real hiccup.
He lasted six innings and gave up four hits and three runs — all in the fourth.
He hit Gordon Beckham in the left elbow and walked Ramirez to start the inning. Garcia, acquired from Detroit in the trade that sent Jake Peavy from Chicago to Boston, drove a two-run triple down the right-field line with two outs and came around on an errant relay to third by Infante.
That gave the White Sox a 3-1 lead, and it seemed that would be enough for Santiago, 0-2 in his last nine starts.
Santiago gave up six hits and left with a two-run lead after Martinez lined a single off the left-field wall leading off the sixth. Martinez scored when Ramirez threw wide to first trying to complete a double play on Pena's grounder, making it 3-2.
NOTES: White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams said he never envisioned the team sinking so low and insisted the turnaround could be a quick one because of a talented young pitching staff. The lineup is a big issue, though. “We’re looking at who deserves to be asked back,” Williams said. “Because this is not White Sox baseball in no way, shape or form.” ... Tigers manager Jim Leyland had no timetable for Octavio Dotel’s return. Sidelined since April 20 because of inflammation in his pitching elbow, the right-hander threw a scoreless inning for Class A Lakeland on Monday. ... RHP Rick Porcello (8-6, 4.32 ERA) starts today for Detroit, with LHP John Danks (2-10, 4.52) pitching for Chicago.
FIELDER’S ISSUES: Detroit Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter hinted on a radio show that teammate Prince Fielder’s hitting slump might be caused by off-field issues.
Talking Tuesday with station Detroit Sports 105.1, Hunter suggested that critics back off.
He said “a lot of people don’t know what’s going on” in Fielder’s life.
A four-time All-Star, Fielder was hitting just .219 with five homers and 27 RBIs during his previous 50 games entering Tuesday night.
Asked before the game about his comments, Hunter said they talked and that Fielder will “be fine.” He also called him a “brother” and added “we’ve all got family issues, trust me.”
Fielder talked briefly and brushed off reporters, declining to go into any details.
RANGERS/CRUZ: Suspended Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz is heading home Wednesday to the Dominican Republic, where he will work out before returning to Texas later this month. General manager Jon Daniels said Cruz will spend about 12 days in the Dominican, where the All-Star right fielder has a home gym and the team has a complex he will visit.
Cruz was suspended for the final 50 games of the regular season by Major League Baseball.