A changeup, indeed: Garcia ends Sox's skid

The hemorrhaging has stopped, but the long-term prognosis for the patient remains uncertain.

Behind Freddy Garcia's strong outing, the White Sox snapped their season-high seven-game losing streak Sunday with a 6-4 victory over Detroit to salvage the final game of the four-game series. Despite the victory, the Sox stayed five games behind Minnesota, a 4-3 winner over Boston.

"That's why we got him," Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said of Garcia. "Every time he goes out there, he gets better and better for us."

Garcia (9-9) might never lose if he pitches only during the day. He improved to 6-0 with a 2.91 ERA in day games this season.

The right-hander pitched better than the four runs he allowed in 7 1/3 innings would indicate. He gave up two solo home runs and departed in the eighth inning after surrendering a leadoff double and an RBI single. Damaso Marte came in and walked the first man he faced before giving up a sacrifice fly for the fourth run.

"Obviously, he wanted to finish that inning," catcher Ben Davis said. "Freddy is a competitor."

Garcia had a three-run cushion courtesy of Davis, who hit a two-out, three-run homer off Danny Patterson in the second inning.

Patterson had entered the game in relief of starter Jeremy Bonderman, who left two batters earlier when Jose Valentin hit a ball off his left shin. X-rays were negative.

It was the second consecutive time Bonderman had been forced to leave a game early against the White Sox. He was ejected in the second inning July 25 at U.S. Cellular Field after hitting Aaron Rowand with a pitch.

The three early runs seemed more than enough for Garcia, who retired the first eight men he faced until Brandon Inge homered with two outs in the third inning to cut it to 3-1.

Davis singled and scored on Rowand's single in the fourth to give the Sox a 4-1 lead.

Of anyone in the Sox's lineup, Davis seemed the least likely to jump-start the offense. He came into the game hitting just .140. After Sunday's 2-for-4 day, he has five hits in his last 11 at-bats and is up to .164.

"I'm just trying not to do anything special," Davis said. "When you contribute, you feel like you're a part of the team."

The Sox made it 5-1 in the fifth when Carlos Lee doubled and scored on a Ross Gload single on a day in which the Sox pounded out 14 hits.

"We swung the bats better," Guillen said.

Rowand and Paul Konerko each had three hits, and Lee joined Davis with two hits.

Garcia, who gave up a solo home run to Rondell White in the seventh, was cruising with a 5-2 lead until the eighth. He was visibly upset when Jason Smith's hit fell in front of Rowand for a double to start the eighth.

Davis said Garcia's changeup was the best he has seen him throw. Normally, Garcia throws his changeup in the middle to high 80s. Davis said it was in the low 80s Sunday.

"I threw a lot of changeups," Garcia said. "I had a good feel for it."

Marte injected some unwanted drama from a Sox perspective by walking the first man he faced to put the tying runs on in the eighth. He stranded the tying run on third when he retired Dmitri Young to end the inning.

"I'm tired of seeing my relievers come in and walk guys," Guillen said.

He saw it again in the ninth when closer Shingo Takatsu walked the leadoff man. But by then, Takatsu had a two-run cushion thanks to Rowand's solo home run in the top of the ninth.

"[Takatsu] has been so good all season that with a one-run lead you feel confident," Rowand said. "But having a two-run cushion takes some pressure off him and the defense."

After a day off Monday in Kansas City, the Sox will pitch newcomer Jose Contreras on Tuesday.

"Every time after we've had a losing streak," Guillen said, "we've put together a pretty good streak."