Justin Verlander allowed one run over eight innings, Brennan Boesch and Delmon Young both homered and the Detroit Tigers defeated the Chicago White Sox, 4-2, on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep and move into a tie atop the AL Central.
Alejandro De Aza returned from the disabled list and belted a leadoff homer for the White Sox, but Verlander (13-7) allowed just three hits the rest of the way. The AL's reigning MVP and Cy Young Award winner struck out 11, issued just two walks, and improved to 12-1 in his last 13 starts against Chicago.
"We just beat a very good team, a team that has been in first place for the most part of the year," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland. "It's gonna be hard to take that away from them. They're good and they have answered every bell so far, so we just have to keep playing baseball."
Boesch belted a game-tying homer in the fifth and Young followed with a three- run blast an inning later. The left fielder finished with seven RBI in the series.
Jose Valverde allowed Dan Johnson's RBI single in the ninth before flying out Orlando Hudson with runners on the corners to secure his 28th save of the season.
Chris Sale (15-6) lasted six innings in the loss and allowed four runs on five hits with four walks and seven strikeouts. The lefty has lost all three of his starts against the Tigers this season.
The White Sox have dropped seven straight games against Detroit and six of their last seven overall.
With one down in the fifth, Boesch turned on an 0-1 fastball and sent it over the wall in straightaway center field for his 12th homer of the season.
Omar Infante led off the sixth with a single and Miguel Cabrera followed with a walk. Sale, who has lost three of his last four starts, struck out Prince Fielder and was ahead 1-2 against Young before the left fielder deposited a slider into the seats for a 4-1 advantage.
Valverde retired two straight batters to begin the ninth before A.J. Pierzynski and Alexei Ramirez singled ahead of Johnson's base hit to right.
"Tomorrow is a new day," said Pierzynski. "One thing we've been doing all year is just look at the next day and hopefully tomorrow will be the day that we turn it back around and start winning some games."
Young hit his 17th homer run of the year ... Verlander now has 209 strikeouts on the season. It's the fourth straight season he has posted 200 or more strikeouts. Verlander and teammate Max Scherzer (207) are just the second duo in club history to record 200-plus strikeouts in the same season. Mickey Lolich and Joe Coleman did so in 1971, '72, and '73 ... Prior to the game, the Tigers recalled pitcher Al Alburquerque from Triple-A Toledo ... De Aza returned from the 15-day disabled list (bruised ribs).