Chicago, IL – Chris Sale tossed a complete game and received some rare help from his offense as the Chicago White Sox posted a 6-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers to open a three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field.
Sale (8-11), who has received the lowest run support of any starting pitcher in the majors this season, scattered nine hits and did not walk a batter in going the distance for the fourth time in 2013. The All-Star lefty was backed by a 14-hit attack and a three-run fifth inning that carried Chicago to only its fifth win in the last 18 games.
Gordon Beckham and Jeff Keppinger led the charge with three hits apiece, while Josh Phegley went 2-for-4 with two RBI in the triumph.
"Our record doesn't show it, but we're playing better baseball just in terms of playing cleaner, making routine plays, putting us in position to possibly win the game," Beckham said.
Detroit lost for the third time in four outings following a season-best 12- game win streak despite two more hits from Miguel Cabrera, including the slugger's 37th home run of the year.
Doug Fister (10-6) took the loss after being reached for four runs on eight hits over six innings.
"I didn't do enough," Fister said. "We have plenty of confidence in the offense to put it together and pick me up, but at the same time I didn't do my job. I've got to go out there and give them a better chance to win, especially against a great pitcher we were facing tonight."
Fister faced the minimum through the game's opening three innings, but ran into some trouble while trying to protect a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth.
The White Sox loaded the bases with two out on a Beckham single and a pair of walks, then produced their initial run of the night when Fister uncorked a wild pitch with ex-Tiger Avisail Garcia at the plate.
Fister endured an even rougher fifth inning, with five of Chicago's first six hitters collecting hits as the White Sox surged ahead.
Keppinger began the outburst with a ground-rule double and Phegley singled him home two batters later to tie the contest. After Alejandro De Aza also reached on a base hit, Beckham hit a hard grounder that caromed off Fister's leg and into short right field as Phegley came around with the go-ahead run. Alexei Ramirez followed with another single that plated De Aza for a 4-2 advantage.
Sale handled the Tigers the rest of the way, with Detroit's only real threat coming when Cabrera and Prince Fielder started the sixth with singles before eventually being left stranded.
The Tigers mustered just two more singles over the last three frames.
Chicago gave Sale some additional breathing room with a two-run eighth. Keppinger and Jordan Danks each singled off reliever Al Albuquerque and Phegley greeted Bruce Rondon with an RBI hit to left. A sacrifice fly from De Aza sent in Danks for a 6-2 lead.
Cabrera's fourth homer in as many games, a towering opposite-field blast to right in the top of the first, staked Detroit to a 1-0 edge. An inning later, Brayan Pena stroked a two-out double into the gap in right center that scored Matt Tuiasosopo, who landed on first via a force out after Victor Martinez singled.
Cabrera, who was named the AL's co-Player of the Week along with teammate Austin Jackson on Monday, also homered in four straight games from May 19-23 and is batting .432 (16-for-37) with five homers and 12 RBI over a 10-game hitting streak ... Ramirez's RBI single extended his hitting streak to nine games ... Detroit second baseman Omar Infante, out since July 3 with an ankle sprain, was activated from the disabled list prior to the game and went 0- for-4 in his return ... Fister was dealt his first loss since June 21 against Boston and entered the contest 4-0 with a 1.59 ERA over his previous five starts.