Detroit, MI (Sports Network) – A.J. Pierzynski singled home the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th inning, and the Chicago White Sox beat Detroit, 5-4, in the opener of a four-game series at Comerica Park.
Pierzynski added a two-run single in the second for the White Sox, who are 7-0 on a 10-game road trip.
Chicago still trails AL Central-leading Minnesota by 3 1/2 games after the Twins edged Kansas City on Monday.
Don Kelly belted a two-run homer and added an RBI single for Detroit, which has dropped six of its last 10 games.
Trailing 4-3, the White Sox rallied in the eighth.
Detroit starter Max Scherzer was lifted in favor of reliever Phil Coke after Andruw Jones hit a one-out single. Coke set down the only batter he faced, and Ryan Perry came on to pitch to pinch-hitter Alexei Ramirez. Pinch-runner Brent Lillibridge then stole second and scored the tying run on a single by Ramirez.
Brandon Inge had a go-ahead, two-run homer overturned by video replay in the home half of eighth. With a runner on first and two away, Inge hooked an offering from Chicago rookie Chris Sale (1-1) down the left-field line. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen immediately challenged the home run, and replays determined it was a foul ball. Inge would be called out on strikes to end the frame.
Jose Valverde (2-4) took the mound for Detroit to begin the 10th, and Manny Ramirez greeted him by stroking a single to left field. Ramirez advanced to second when Ryan Raburn misplayed the ball. One out later, pinch-hitter Alex Rios and Pierzynski hit consecutive singles to score pinch-runner Alejandro De Aza with the decisive run.
Sale, the 13th overall pick in the 2010 draft, pitched the 10th to secure his first major league win.
The Tigers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning against Chicago starter Edwin Jackson. Austin Jackson led off with a double and Will Rhymes laid down a bunt to put runners on the corners for Johnny Damon, who grounded a single to left field to put Detroit on the board. A one-out single by Kelly scored Rhymes.
Considering the first four Chicago batters reached base to start the second, Scherzer could’ve done a lot worse than two runs. Singles by Manny Ramirez and Jones sandwiched around a walk to Mark Teahen loaded the bases for Pierzynski, who pushed home two runs with a bouncer up the middle.
Scherzer escaped further damage by retiring the next three men to come to the plate.
Juan Pierre singled home Jones to give the White Sox a 3-2 lead in the fourth, but the inning ended when Mark Kotsay was thrown out at home by right fielder Brennan Boesch attempting to score on Omar Vizquel’s base hit.
Kelly’s sixth home run of the season put the Tigers on top in the bottom of the fourth. The blast followed a leadoff single by Miguel Cabrera.
Both Edwin Jackson and Scherzer gave up four runs on nine hits and struck out six in 7 1/3 innings…Sale did not allow a base runner in 2 2/3 innings of work…Chicago last won seven in a row on the road from June 20-July 3, 2009…Pierzynski extended his hitting streak to 13 games…The White Sox are 8-2 in their last 10 games in Detroit…Rhymes has reached base safely in each of his last 14 games…The Tigers opened a seven-game homestand.