On a day where the ball had some carry at Comerica Park, Philip Humber only had a high fastball.
Three innings and four homers later, Humber dug the White Sox a 6-1 hole, and they couldn't climb all the way out of it. The front end of the bullpen did all it could to keep the game within reach, and the offense showed more fight than in previous games, but the entire product remained somewhere south of enjoyable.
Also, the Tigers swept them, and now lead the AL Central by 1 1/2 games after entering the series trailing by that margin. The Sox hadn't suffered a sweep all season.
A familiar end had a familiar beginning. The White Sox took a 1-0 lead with three consecutive two-out singles, which meant they scored first in all 10 games of this road trip. Yet they finished this road trip 3-7, because Sox pitchers had a nasty habit of immediately giving back runs.
Humber spent the minimum amount of time needed to put the Sox behind. He walked Austin Jackson to start the game. Jackson stole second, but Quintin Berry made it rather meaningless by taking Humber deep to left field for his second career home run. Cabrera made it back-to-back with his 299th homer just left of center.
Two innings later, Cabrera also made Humber the victim of his 300th homer, a 457-foot blast over camera well in center field. Brennan Boesch joined the homer parade with a no-doubt two-run shot of his own, stretching the lead to 6-1. Humber finished the third, but Robin Ventura didn't send him out for the fourth. His day was done after 57 pitches.
Hector Santiago made the quick hook work with 3 1/3 effectively wild innings -- four walks, four strikeouts, no hits, no runs. Nate Jones inherited a runner, but his slider actually made Cabrera look foolish for a strikeout. Donnie Veal continued his impressive audition with a 1-2-3 inning (so impressive he was sent down after the game). All in all, the Sox bullpen pitched five hitless innings, giving the Sox a chance.
The White Sox actually outhit the Tigers 10-7, but they couldn't come through with a big blow besides Alex Rios' two-run homer. And even that was initially ruled a double, as it hit a wall behind the fence and bounced back into the field of play. That homer got Jacob Turner out of the game after 5 1/3 innings, and they continued a rally against Bryan Villareal with a pair of singles. Gordon Beckham flied out to right to end the threat.
Kevin Youkilis snapped out of his funk with a solo homer to make it a two-run game, but once Octavio Dotel came in, the Sox saw the door shut on them. Dotel's fastball command might never be finer than it was today -- he struck out four of the five batters he faced, throwing 18 of 19 pitches for strikes, and the one ball should have been strike three to Paul Konerko. Two pitches later, he pained the outside corner again and finally got the call.
- The Sox were denied an interference call when Cabrera drifted into Flowers' throwing path after a strikeout. Flowers punched him in the back, but Derryl Cousins didn't see it. Jones pitched around it by walking Prince Fielder intentionally and getting Delmon Young to ground out to short.
- The Sox walked just once. They've walked fewer than two times in five of their last seven games.
- Youkilis' homer snapped an 0-for-14 skid.