Max Scherzer pitched six dominant innings, Prince Fielder hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning against reliever Leyson Septimo to break open a two-run game, and the Detroit Tigers held on for a 8-6 victory on Wednesday night to cut the White Sox lead in the American League Central to one game.
Kevin Youkilis hit two home runs, a solo shot for the only run against Scherzer and a three-run blast in the eighth against Joaquin Benoit that trimmed the Tigers lead to 8-5.
A crowd of 30,667 at U.S. Cellular Field watched the Sox go down to the final out after they trailed 8-1. Sox starter Gavin Floyd pitch four strong innings in his first start since going on the disabled list with a sore right elbow. Floyd struck out seven and gave up two hits in the opening four innings but was charged with three runs in the fifth. After giving up a two-out RBI single to Austin Jackson, Floyd was relieved by Hector Santiago, who walked Andy Dirks and gave up an RBI single to Miguel Cabrera.
Santiago, Brian Omogrosso, Leyson Septimo — who gave up the homer to Fielder — and Dylan Axelrod gave up a combined five runs in the seventh and eighth innings as the Tigers won for the second straight night. The Sox need a win Thursday to split the four-game series. Sox ace Chris Sale will oppose Justin Verlander.
The Sox scored one in the ninth against Tigers closer Jose Valverde, on Alexei Ramirez’s RBI groundout that scored Alex Rios. Dan Johnson singled with two outs to bring the tying run to the plate but Orlando Hudson struck out looking.