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White Sox limping forward
Overcoming 10 stranded runners and the loss of Jim Thome gave the White Sox some temporary satisfaction Wednesday night.
Thanks to the power resurgence of Joe Crede and timely pitching by Freddy Garcia and the bullpen, the Sox snapped a three-game losing streak by beating American League Central leader Detroit 7-5.
But they'll probably be without Thome, their top home run hitter, for at least Thursday's series finale and maybe this weekend's home series with Minnesota after their designated hitter strained his left hamstring while running out a double in the second inning.
Thome was limping noticeably while walking to his locker after the game and dressed slowly.
The pain was somewhat alleviated by the victory that enabled the Sox to maintain their half-game lead over Minnesota in the AL wild-card race and cut their deficit to 61/2 games behind Detroit.
"The easy way would be to say, 'Here we go again,'" manager Ozzie Guillen said after the Sox blew a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first. "But we went out there and did what we had to do."
Crede got the lead back in the top of the second on his 100th career homer, igniting a three-run second.
That gave a boost to Garcia, who retired 10 consecutive batters after a rocky first in which he surrendered a 429-foot homer to Dmitri Young and a game-tying single to Ivan Rodriguez.
Garcia didn't get rattled after putting the first two batters on base in the fifth. He struck out Curtis Granderson, induced Craig Monroe to fly to center and retired Young on a grounder to second.
Relievers Matt Thornton, Mike MacDougal and Bobby Jenks combined to throw 32/3 scoreless innings and extend the bullpen's scoreless streak against the Tigers to 291/3 innings.
Crede provided insurance with a homer off Colby Lewis in the seventh for his 14th homer at spacious Comerica Park, tops among visiting players.
"Every time he hits the ball, it's a clutch hit," Guillen said. "He's a strong man."
Homers by Crede and Jermaine Dye, who hit a three-run shot in the first for his 35th homer, helped compensate for the 10 runners that were stranded from the second through seventh.
"I like to see those runs in," Guillen said. "You got two outs and don't bring that run in, that's fine. But when you have less than two outs, I like those runs to come in. That's the way you're going to win games and help the pitching staff."
Garcia (12-8), nevertheless, beat the Tigers for the third time this season and improved his lifetime record against them to 14-5.
Garcia deflected most of the credit to the offense and the bullpen but was glad that his velocity returned to the 93-m.p.h. range.
"It made me happy because my strength is getting back, and hopefully I throw hard next time," Garcia said. "Last year I was throwing hard. I want to at least throw consistently in the low 90s. I don't want to be throwing 85 or 86."
Tigers manager Jim Leyland started pulling out the stops in the second inning when he yanked rookie starter Zach Miner with one out and the Tigers trailing 4-3. With runners at first and second in the seventh, Leyland replaced Lewis with left-hander Jamie Walker with a 2-2 count on left-handed hitter Scott Podsednik.
That move wouldn't have happened had Podsednik not failed to lay down a sacrifice, but Podsednik paid the price when he was lifted for pinch-hitter Brian Anderson.
Walker struck out Anderson on a breaking pitch, but the strikeout was charged to Podsednik.