Raburn hit two homers and Magglio
Ordonez had a solo shot to lead slumping Detroit over the Chicago White
Sox 5-3 Sunday, putting the Tigers in a tiebreaker against Minnesota
for the AL Central title.
“The way it looks, we got one more game and, hopefully, a whole lot more,” Raburn said.
The Tigers and Minnesota ended 162 games the division lead. The Twins will host a one-game playoff Tuesday.
“It’s going to be fun,” Detroit’s Curtis Granderson said. “I’m sure Minnesota is going to be rocking.”
A big catch by Granderson in center
helped the Tigers win for only the third time in eight games. They
seemed to know there was still work to do because they celebrated as if
it just another victory by shaking hands on the infield.
The Tigers, of course, had been watching the scoreboard and saw that Minnesota took a big, early lead over Kansas City.
“What a play Curtis makes,” Verlander said. “If he misses that who knows? It could’ve been a tie game.”
Verlander (19-9) was handed a 5-0 lead, then left in the eighth as it got tense at Comerica Park.
Down 5-3, the White Sox had two on
and two outs when Carlos Quentin hit a shallow fly. Granderson sprinted
a long way and made a fully extended, diving catch to end the inning.
Fernando Rodney got the final four outs for his 37th save.
John Danks (13-11) gave up four runs and seven hits over five innings.
Verlander set a career high in wins and matched the most any pitcher had in the majors this year.
He was dominant through seven
innings — giving up just two hits — before allowing three runs, four
hits and a walk in the eighth.
Detroit got the strong start it
needed after losing three straight, including a game against Minnesota
on Thursday when it could’ve clinched their first division title since
Verlander gave up a single in the first, but Gordon Beckham got doubled up trying to advance on a flyout.
Raburn drew a walk in the home half
and scored when Carlos Guillen walked. Raburn hit his first of two
homers in the second, giving the Tigers a 3-0 lead, and his second gave
them a five-run lead in the sixth.
Ordonez was 4 for 4 with an RBI.
Tigers star Miguel Cabrera
said he just wanted to focus on the game when he was asked Sunday
morning about the bruise and cut on his left cheek. Cabrera was 0 for
3, finishing the homestand 5 for 26. … Ordonez, whose fielding
blunder from Saturday’s nights loss was the picture above the fold on
the front page of The Detroit Free Press on Sunday, filled up a trash
can with newspapers before the game. “Why not?” Ordonez said. “We don’t read
that.” … The defending AL Central champion White Sox finished the
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