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Detroit Tigers sweep Chicago White Sox with 4-3 victory in nightcap
DETROIT -- Bartolo Colon answered one of the White Sox's lingering questions by pitching seven innings of three-run ball Friday night.
But the Sox came up short numerous times in trying to stop a Detroit rally or getting a clutch hit.
Just as high as the Sox were following Mark Buehrle's perfect game Thursday that moved them into a share of first place, they suffered a double whammy as Detroit regained a two-game lead following a 4-3 victory to complete a doubleheader sweep.
In the first game, the Sox were held to three hits through the first eight innings of a 5-1 loss to Detroit and ace Justin Verlander.
The second-game loss was more frustrating to the Sox (50-47), as they wasted a commendable effort from Colon while failing to expand their two-run lead after three innings.
The Tigers (51-44) scored the winning run in the eighth on Matt Thornton's bases-loaded walk to Clete Thomas, but the damage was set up when Scott Linebrink allowed a single, double and intentional walk with one out.
The Sox offense in the second game relied solely on power. Jim Thome hit an opposite-field shot off Eddie Bonine in the second. The homer was the 558th of Thome's career and his 13th at Comerica Park.
Jermaine Dye helped the Sox regain the lead in the third by ripping a two-run shot. The homer moved Dye into first place for opponents' home runs at Comerica with 16, one more than former Sox third baseman Joe Crede.
The Sox, however, failed to solve Bonine, who was called up from Triple-A Toledo to start this game. He hadn't pitched for the Tigers since April 23.
The Sox were a combined 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position. They had runners on base in each of the first seven innings in the second game but couldn't deliver a clutch hit.
They blew a major opportunity in the seventh with the first two batters reached safely and Dewayne Wise moved them up on a sacrifice bunt. But Ramon Castro and Scott Podsednik struck out in succession against reliever Bobby Seay.
That cost Colon a shot at a victory. Making his first major-league start since June 7 because of left knee inflammation, Colon's fastball was clocked in the low 90 m.p.h. range, and the Tigers didn't start to solve him until the fifth.
In the first game, Verlander (11-5) won for the third time in his last four starts and didn't allow a hit after Carlos Quentin's double in the fourth inning until A.J. Pierzynski's leadoff single in the ninth. After Quentin's double, Verlander retired 15 of the next 16 batters.
But Pierzynski's single was the first of three consecutive hits. The rally was stunted when Gordon Beckham grounded back to the mound for a double play, and Wise grounded out to short to end the game.
Verlander threw 127 pitches, 83 for strikes. His 124th pitch was clocked at 100 m.p.h.
Jose Contreras was tagged for nine hits in 6 2/3 innings. Contreras struck out eight and wasn't hit hard, but the Tigers produced some well-timed hits, such as Ryan Raburn's RBI double in the fourth that snapped a 1-1 tie and Placido Polanco's RBI single in the seventh that skipped past Dye in right for an error.
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