Doug Fister pitched an eight-inning gem as the Detroit Tigers won their season-high sixth straight game with a 2-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox in the opener of a three-game series between the first and last place teams in the AL Central.
Fister (10-5) worked quickly and efficiently in winning his fourth straight start. The ground-ball specialist scattered seven hits and allowed just one run on Alex Rios' RBI single in the sixth.
"Things were feeling pretty good tonight...and our defense was amazing," Fister said.
Despite throwing only 88 pitches, Fister was pulled in the ninth for Joaquin Benoit, who worked around a two-out walk in the ninth to close out the win in just over two hours (2:07).
Jose Iglesias, acquired in a three-team trade on Tuesday, drove in a run in his first game as a Tiger and Austin Jackson added a solo homer for the division leaders.
Hector Santiago (3-7) was the hard-luck loser after allowing two runs on six hits and one walk over seven innings.
"He's kept us in just about every single ball game, and we just can't score runs for him," White Sox slugger Adam Dunn said.
The bottom-feeding White Sox have been on the losing end a lot lately, as they matched a season-high with their eighth consecutive loss and fell 27 games under .500 (40-67) for the first time since ending the 1976 season with a 64-97 record.
The Tigers took a few innings to get going with Triple Crown contender Miguel Cabrera sitting out again with a left abdominal strain.
They left a runner in scoring position in both the first and second innings and nearly wasted Prince Fielder's leadoff double in the fourth before their new acquisition, Iglesias, fisted a two-out single to right field to bring in Fielder with the game's first run.
In the fifth, Jackson found the bullpen beyond the wall in left-center for his seventh home run of the year, and Chicago got on the board in its next at-bat.
Fister worked the minimum between the second and fifth innings, but Alexei Ramirez reached him with a double with two away in the sixth and scored on Rios' base hit to center.
Tailor-made double plays in the seventh and eighth innings helped Fister escape further damage, and Veras retired Dunn on a groundout with Rios on second to post his 11th save of the season.
Fister, who has not lost since June 2, has pitched to a 1.29 ERA (4 ER/28 innings) during his four-start winning streak ... Iglesias was acquired from the Red Sox in a trade earlier this week that sent a slew of prospects to Chicago, including Avisail Garcia, and Jake Peavy to Boston ... Eight of Jackson's 37 career home runs have come against the White Sox ... Chicago also lost eight in a row from May 27-June 4.