Tigers Lose to White Sox, Fall Into Tie in AL Central


Tigers Lose to White Sox, Fall Into Tie in AL Central DETROIT — The AL Central has come down to the final day.

The Detroit Tigers dropped into a first-place tie with Minnesota, looking listless Saturday night in a 5-1 loss to Freddy Garcia and the Chicago White Sox.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland made two pitching changes in the second inning, trying to find a way to end his team's slump. Instead, Detroit lost for the fifth time in seven games.

Earlier in the day, the Twins beat Kansas City 5-4, leaving them even with the Tigers at 85-76.

Detroit will start ace Justin Verlander on Sunday against John Dank. If the Tigers and Twins are still tied at the end of the day, there will be a one-game playoff Tuesday at the Metrodome.

The Tigers are in danger of becoming the first team to be in first place on May 10 and stay atop a division until losing the title in the last week. Detroit certainly didn't look fresh against the White Sox, giving up a season-high six stolen bases.

Minnesota hasn't been in first – alone or tied – since May 14.

Detroit star Miguel Cabrera was hitless in four at-bats with runners on base and the light-hitting team simply could not overcome his lack of production.

Placido Polanco's RBI single pulled Detroit within three runs in the eighth, ending a 17-inning scoreless streak. But two on and no outs, Magglio Ordonez lined out and Cabrera hit into an inning-ending double play.

Garcia (3-4) gave up one run, six hits and struck out seven in seven-plus innings.

The Tigers used three pitchers in the first two innings and six total.

Alfredo Figaro (2-2) made the third start of his career – first since June 27 – and got just four outs. He gave up two runs on three hits and two walks over just 1 1-3 innings.

Fu-Te Ni entered and pitched to one batter, Scott Podsednik, who hit an RBI groundout to make it 2-0. Armando Galarraga got the final out of the second inning, stranding two, and would've left two more on base in the third inning had not Ordonez misplayed a fly to right field.

Ordonez slid to make a catch in shallow center, even though it appeared that he could've stayed on his feet to make the play, and Alex Rios was credited with an RBI double that put Chicago ahead 3-0.

Galarraga's day ended when he walked Paul Konerko to lead off the fifth inning and Rios hit a two-out RBI single off Ryan Perry that gave Minnesota a 5-0 lead.

The game started after a 16-minute weather delay.

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