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Swisher shot gives White Sox marathon victory over Tigers
The White Sox's best cure for shaky starting pitching Tuesday night was power, relief pitching and defense.
But the best remedy was Nick Swisher's two-out, three-run home run off Joel Zumaya to give the Sox a wild 10-8 win over Detroit in 14 innings.
Swisher cranked a 2-1 pitch that sailed over the center-field fence and capped a victory that saw the Sox rally from a 6-1 deficit and then trail by two runs entering the bottom of the 14th after Placido Polanco hit a two-run homer off Matt Thornton.
The Sox hit four home runs to fuel the comeback, but Swisher's game-winning blast was set up by hits from Orlando Cabrera and Carlos Quentin, who had four hits each.
The Sox won without manager Ozzie Guillen, who was serving the first game of a two-game suspension and witnessed his team's comeback from a luxury suite. The Sox sent the game into extra innings thanks in part to two exceptional defensive plays by third baseman Juan Uribe.
The Sox rallied after Gavin Floyd became the third consecutive starting Sox pitcher to fail to pitch at least five innings.
From the outset, Floyd hardly resembled the pitcher who had a lifetime 3-0 record and 2.72 ERA against American League Central rival Detroit.
Floyd lasted four-plus innings as the Sox trailed 6-1 entering the bottom of the fifth.
Over the last three games, Sox starters have allowed 19 earned runs in 121/3 innings. It's become a disturbing trend after the rotation carried the Sox for the first three months of the season.
In the last 20 games, Sox starters have a 6.75 ERA. They won't get any rotation help until Jose Contreras returns from right elbow tendinitis to pitch Saturday night against Boston.
Floyd slowly got off the hook. Paul Konerko snapped a 4-for-28 slump by lining a two-run shot over the left-field fence to cut the Sox's deficit to 6-4. Konerko's home run knocked out Detroit starter Nate Robertson.
Quentin hit his 29th homer, a solo shot that barely eluded the glove of left fielder Ryan Raburn, with two out in the seventh.
With two out in the eighth, Alexei Ramirez greeted newly acquired Tigers reliever Kyle Farnsworth with a game-tying home run that got Floyd off the hook.
Ramirez's home run preceded a groundout by Griffey, who was treated with plenty of fanfare in his first Sox home game.
Griffey, sixth on the all-time home run list with 609, held a 15-minute interview with media members before the game. In addition to a pregame standing ovation, the upper deck scoreboard panels read, "Welcome to the South Side, Junior!!!"
"But like I said in Kansas City," Guillen said before the game, "if we don't pitch well, I don't care how many Ken Griffey Jrs. we can bring to the ballclub. We got to start pitching well and getting people out. Then this ballclub will be fine."
The hoopla stopped immediately. Floyd threw seven consecutive pitches to start the game, and Polanco cranked a 3-1 pitch over the left-field fence to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead.
Floyd was pulled after giving up four consecutive hits to start the fifth. Curtis Granderson hit a two-run home run to extend his hitting streak to 14 games.
Polanco followed with a hit that skipped past Griffey in center for a triple, and he scored on Carlos Guillen's single.