DETROIT – The Chicago White Sox are falling behind in the American League Central — and wasting some nice outings by John Danks.
Max Scherzer allowed four hits in eight outstanding innings, and the Detroit Tigers beat Chicago 3-0 on Sunday to finish a three-game sweep of the struggling White Sox. Danks allowed three runs through six innings and struck out eight, but the White Sox have lost all five of his starts this season.
"I tried to keep us in position to win the game, but Max Scherzer is pretty darn good," Danks said. "It is way too early to start fretting. We aren't helping ourselves right now, obviously, but we know this is a good team."
Manager Ozzie Guillen certainly hopes that's the case, but he's running out of patience. The White Sox have lost 10 of 11 and are now 8-14 on the season, in last place in the division.
They now must head to New York for a four-game series against the Yankees.
"Nothing works," Guillen said. "I'll keep plugging guys in and hope things come around, but now every day is like rewinding a movie and watching it again."
Scherzer (4-0) struck out seven and walked three, helping Detroit shut out Chicago for a second straight day. After Brad Penny took a no-hitter into the sixth inning Saturday, Scherzer made it to the fifth with one before allowing A.J. Pierzynski's leadoff single.
He left after 104 pitches, and Jose Valverde pitched the ninth for his fifth save.
Danks (0-3) allowed nine hits and two walks. His ERA is a solid 3.27, and he's pitched at least six innings in every start.
"It's unfortunate, because he's been pitching great every outing, and we're not helping him," Guillen said. "Not at all, and it is a shame."
Detroit has won nine straight over the White Sox.
The Tigers opened the scoring in the fourth after loading the bases with nobody out. Danks struck out Casper Wells, but Alex Avila hit a broken-bat groundball to drive in a run.
Brandon Inge and Austin Jackson each hit RBI doubles with two outs in the sixth. Detroit has bounced back nicely from a 3-7 start. The Tigers are now 12-10, while Chicago and Minnesota — the other expected contenders in the American League Central — are below .500.
"Getting guys out there and getting in a groove is really what you think about," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "You want to play good baseball — steady. I think we're doing that pretty good right now."
Detroit's starting pitchers have led the way with 14 quality starts in the last 18 games. The Tigers allowed three solo homers Friday night, but that was all for Chicago, which was outscored 21-3 in the series.
The White Sox finished with five hits Sunday, and two of them didn't leave the infield. Pierzynski and Juan Pierre had two hits each for Chicago, but the White Sox didn't get a runner past second base.
Jackson and Brennan Boesch had two hits each for the Tigers.
NOTES: Jake Peavy threw a side session Sunday of at least 40 pitches and reported no issues. The Chicago right-hander has been bothered by muscle tenderness and irritation in his surgically repaired throwing shoulder. "It's hard to be talking about this when the team is struggling like this," Peavy said. "I let it go today and everything checked out. I'm excited about the progress." ... Chicago's Omar Vizquel started at 2B on his 44th birthday. "I don't think too many people think at the age of 44 they'll still be playing baseball," he said before the game. "I'm still having fun. That's the main thing." ... Detroit DH Magglio Ordonez singled in the fifth and is now 15 for 26 against Danks. ... White Sox DH Adam Dunn drew his 1,000th walk in the fourth. ... The time of game was 2 hours, 19 minutes.