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Tigers rain on Sox parade, win 2 of 3
Along with all that rainwater Wednesday, the White Sox's sunny statistics and Cell superiority went down the drain.
Detroit's 8-6 victory defied all lopsided logic and also dented the Sox's reputation for overcoming any adversity.
Talk about overcoming. Look what the Tigers had going against them coming into the game:
The Sox were 31-5 against the Central Division.
The Sox were an American League-best 31-16 at home at U.S. Cellular Field.
The Sox were 21-7-2 in series this year and had split with Detroit in the first two games of this series.
The Sox were a baseball-best 22-10 in day games.
And Freddy Garcia, Mr. Sunshine himself, was starting.
Garcia was 13-1 in his last 18 games pitched during daylight hours, but on Wednesday he was charged with six runs and only his fourth loss in 13 decisions. But Garcia was able to make light of his troubles.
"Maybe with the rain delay it was kind of dark, so it looked like a night game," he said.
The Tigers also survived a 1-hour-11-minute, fourth-inning rain delay to leave 39,146 fans in disbelief with their second straight victory over the Sox.
"Every time we lose a game, it feels [to fans] like we lost the pennant or we're done," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I think we got spoiled. I don't think we've lost more than four games in a row all year.
"Two games in a row doesn't mean anything. We've got to come back tomorrow and win the game."
"Tomorrow" is Thursday and the opponents are the world champion Boston Red Sox, who hold a half-game lead in the AL East.
"You look at their lineup and it's not that much different than the lineup we faced [Wednesday]," Guillen said.
The Tigers scored 15 runs the last two days and the Detroit pitching staff held the White Sox to seven runs, including three against former Cub Kyle Farnsworth in Wednesday's ninth inning that still left them short of their 28th comeback victory of the year.
Actually, those three Sox runs would have been enough to win the game had Garcia, Cliff Politte and Neal Cotts not combined to give the Tigers four runs in the top of the ninth.
Garcia trailed 4-3 and had thrown more than 100 pitches going into the last inning, but he came out for more. Gracia gave up a home run to Omar Infante and a single to Nook Logan before Politte replaced him.
Politte allowed two hits and a walk (and another Garcia run) before giving way to Cotts. A single by Dmitri Young charged two runs to Politte.
Politte and Cotts were warmed up for the ninth inning even though closer Dustin Hermanson said before the game that his stiff back was limber enough for him to pitch.
Garcia was just bad enough to lose.
His problems were mostly of his own making, including a two-run homer in the first inning by Chris Shelton, a wild pitch that brought home the fourth run in the sixth, plus those two ninth-inning runs. His other run, in the fifth inning, scored when Aaron Rowand's throw to third base, aimed at nailing Brandon Inge, skipped wildly.
Garcia fell to 5-9 in his last 22 home starts. He's 14-2 in his last 18 road starts.
"Maybe I try too hard at home," he said. "I don't know why I pitch better away. I've just got to keep going and pitching."
Sox bats were almost silent for a second straight day against a Tigers starterNate Robertsonuntil Farnsworth helped them out in the ninth. Solo home runs by Tadahito Iguchi in the first inning and Chris Widger in the seventh kept the Sox close.
"[The Tigers] just played well, they got big hits when they needed them and they pitched well," Widger said.
Everyone but Farnsworth pitched well. He walked three and gave up RBI singles to Juan Uribe and Joe Crede.
And if the losses weren't bad enough, former Sox Magglio Ordonez finished the series with seven hits and three walks. "I did really good and all my teammates did pretty good," Ordonez said.