Max Scherzer hasn’t needed much run support this season.
The middle of his order gave him plenty to start, and the White Sox defense kicked in a few more for good measure.
The American League’s All-Star Game starter outdueled Chris Sale as the White Sox committed three errors and dropped the opener of a four-game series against the Detroit Tigers with a 7-3 loss at U.S. Cellular Field.
Sale (6-9) struck out 11 in a losing effort, and Alexei Ramirez made two costly errors as the White Sox dropped 14 games back of the first-place Tigers.
Timely hitting by both Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez put Detroit ahead for good.
Fielder’s two-out bouncer through the right side in the third inning scored Torii Hunter to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
Two innings later, Sale intentionally walked Miguel Cabrera — who later left the game with a sore hip flexor muscle — and walked Fielder to load the bases. Detroit’s rally began when Ramirez booted Hernan Perez’s grounder to short to start the inning.
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Sale got ahead of Martinez in the count but caught too much of the plate with a two-strike slider, and the Tigers’ designated hitter singled up the middle to put his team ahead by three runs. Both fifth-inning runs were unearned.
Sale allowed another run in the seventh when Hunter homered to right. The left-hander allowed four runs (two earned) and seven hits over eight innings. It’s the fifth time this season Sale has struck out at least 10 batters.
The White Sox, who didn’t have a base runner reach against Scherzer (14-1) until the fifth inning, cut the lead to 3-1 on Dayan Viciedo’s sixth-inning solo home run.
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The White Sox got one more when Conor Gillaspie hit a solo homer against Scherzer, but it wasn’t enough.
Scherzer allowed two earned runs and four hits with five strikeouts over eight innings.
Reliever Ramon Troncoso and Ramirez each committed an error in the ninth inning as the Tigers blew open a 4-2 game with three unearned runs. Five of the seven runs allowed by the White Sox were unearned.