Detroit, MI – Delmon Young ripped a tie-breaking, three-run double in the bottom of the seventh inning, as the Detroit Tigers downed the Chicago White Sox, 7-4, in the opener of a three-game set at Comerica Park.
Miguel Cabrera added three hits, including a two-run home run, and scored twice for the Tigers, who now trail the White Sox by just two games in the AL Central and have beaten them in five straight matchups.
"We're almost at Labor Day and we're playing for something," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "The one goal I do have is to get into September and be playing for something and we've accomplished that."
Octavio Dotel (5-2) earned the victory after allowing just one hit over 1 2/3 innings of relief. Jose Valverde tossed a scoreless ninth to nail down his 27th save of the season.
Jake Peavy (9-10) was charged for six runs on nine hits and four walks over six-plus frames to take his third straight losing decision.
"They got a big hit and we had some chances to get a big one and couldn't quite pull it off but the boys battled," Peavy said. "I gotta be better than that, just didn't have much to go on tonight."
A.J. Pierzynski clubbed a solo homer and Paul Konerko plated a pair in the setback, Chicago's fourth in its last five games.
With the game locked at 4-4 in the seventh, Peavy issued a leadoff walk to Andy Dirks and a single to Cabrera to mark the end of his outing as he was replaced by Matt Thornton.
Thornton drilled Prince Fielder to load the bases for Young, who ripped a double into the left-center field gap to clear the bases and give the Tigers a 7-4 advantage.
Joaquin Benoit then held Chicago scoreless in the eighth, before Valverde worked around a two-out walk in the ninth to seal the victory.
Earlier in the contest, Cabrera's towering, two-run shot to left-center field gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead in the first. Chicago, though, answered quickly in the second when Pierzynski launched a leadoff blast into right field.
A two-out triple from Austin Jackson in the bottom half, followed by a double from Dirks restored Detroit's two-run lead after two.
Kevin Youkilis walked to start the third before Adam Dunn's single put runners on the corners. Konerko then grounded into a force out at second to score Youkilis and bring the visitors within 3-2.
The White Sox loaded the bases in the fourth when Dayan Viciedo and Alexei Ramirez smacked back-to-back base hits and Gordon Beckham reached on a Cabrera error.
Chicago starter Doug Fister then plunked DeWayne Wise to tie the game at 3-3, but minimized the damage as Youkilis lined out, Dunn struck out and Konerko grounded into a fielder's choice.
Jhonny Peralta then crushed the first pitch of the bottom half into the left- field seats to push the Tigers back in front.
Drew Smyly entered for Fister to start the sixth and walked Wise, who promptly stole second. Wise then moved to third on a wild pitch before Smyly issued a one-out walk to Dunn.
Wise then scored on a sacrifice fly from Konerko to knot the game at 4-4.
Peavy fell to 0-3 in last five trips to the mound ... Cabrera has 26 home runs and 87 RBI over his last 100 games dating back to May 10 ... Fister allowed three runs -- two earned -- on four hits and four walks over five frames.