CHICAGO, Illinois -- The Detroit Tigers got going early and often to build an abundant lead and defeat the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field, 11-8.
After blowing a 7-0 lead in a 12-inning loss to the White Sox on Monday, Detroit jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the fourth inning and sustained that lead to get the victory.
"It's draining, I think more physically than mentally," said Justin Upton after playing consecutive games where 37 runs were scored. "Every game you try to lock in, but the longer the game gets the tougher it gets on the body."
The Tigers (33-31) scored the first run of the game on an RBI single to left field by Miguel Cabrera in the top of the first inning. In the bottom half of the frame, the White Sox took a 2-1 edge on a single by Adam Eaton to score Tim Anderson and a sacrifice fly off the stick of Melky Cabrera.
In the top of the second inning, Upton hit a ground-rule double to score J.D. Martinez, then Mike Aviles knocked in Upton for a 3-2 lead in favor of the Tigers. Upton drew a bases-loaded walk in the third, James McCann drove in a run on a sacrifice fly to right field and Andrew Romine took a free pass with the bases loaded. All in all, Detroit held a 6-2 lead after the third inning.
J.D. Martinez added to the lead with his 18th double of the season scoring Cabrera, Upton tripled in Nick Castellanos and then Upton scored on a ground out by McCann for a 10-2 edge in the top of the fourth inning.
"We've swung the bats well lately," Upton said. "I think guys are starting to settle in."
Upton had a terrible start to the year, but is hitting .276 (13-for-47) with 11 RBI and seven runs scored this month.
"Our guys came out swinging and that's a good sign, but that's a rough start, two days in a row," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "It kind of wears on your bullpen, multiple inning guys and being able to survive that."
Miguel Gonzalez (1-2, 4.74 ERA) had a rough outing, allowing seven runs on eight hits and three walks. Even though the right-handed pitcher struck out three in 3.1 innings, the Tigers were too much to handle when the team made contact.
"When I was ahead, I just couldn't finish hitters," Gonzalez said.
The White Sox (32-33) finally found the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth inning with an RBI single by J.B. Shuck to score former-Tiger Alex Avila. Tyler Saladino cut the White Sox deficit to five runs on a single to center field, which allowed former-Tiger Avisail Garcia and Shuck to cross home plate.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, the White Sox added another run on a sacrifice fly by Jose Abreu to left field in foul territory. However, the Tigers sill owned a 10-6 lead.
Jordan Zimmermann (9-3, 3.46 ERA) allowed six runs (four earned runs) on eight hits and one walk over 7.0 innings of work. The right-hander struck out three batters in the outing.
"They've been giving me runs all year and I haven't been that great of late," Zimmermann said. "I'm hoping I can turn things around and won't need eight to 10 runs every game."
Aviles, who was playing third base while Castellanos was serving as the designated hitter, left the game in the eighth inning after landing on his left wrist while diving for a ground ball. The X-ray that came back was negative.
Detroit tacked on a run in the top of the ninth to go ahead by five runs, but Chicago still had some pop in their bats.
Saladino hit his fourth home run of the season on the fly ball to left field off Mark Lowe. It was a two-run homer as Shuck scored on the long ball. With the Tigers ahead by just three runs, Lowe stayed in and finished game to secure the victory for the Tigers.
"They're a little draining," said the Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, who was forced to get closer Francisco Rodriguez to warm up in the ninth. "We had guys we didn't want to use."
The Tigers and White Sox will battle in the rubber match on June 15 at U.S. Cellular Field. Detroit will send Mike Pelfrey (1-6, 4.68 ERA) to the hill. Pelfrey will be opposed by Chris Sale (10-2, 2.87 ERA) of Chicago.