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Tigers 8, White Sox 5: Axelrod, Troncoso dig hole too deep

Offense valiant for second straight night, but rallies to tie game fall short

It happens.
It happens.
Duane Burleson

If you were to rank the White Sox's 53 losses this season, this one would rank among the most palatable.

Dylan Axelrod looks like he's nearing the end of his line. He struggled with his location, falling behind 2-0 in the first inning when Prince Fielder knocked his hanging changeup over the right field wall. He was scored upon in each of the first three innings, but he battled enough to work into the sixth, which was surprising. He may not be long for the rotation, but a change is imminent one way or another, so it's a bit of a holding pattern.

The offense put together a legitimate-offense effort for the second straight night, responding to three Detroit scoring frames and putting a scare into Jim Leyland's bullpen despite an off night by the White Sox pitching staff. They missed their best chance for a big number in the fourth, but only because of bad breaks -- Torii Hunter made a nice diving catch on Gordon Beckham's drive to the right-center gap, turning a possible double into a sac fly. One batter later, Tyler Flowers took Andy Dirks to the wall, falling five feet short of a two-run homer that would've tied the game at 5.

Really, the only regrettable series of events took place in the sixth. Robin Ventura was right to lift Axelrod after he allowed a two-out single to Torii Hunter to put two on. He was at 111 pitches, and Detroit's 3-4-5 of Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez loomed. It was a good hook.

But Ramon Troncoso was an uninspiring choice, and he allowed opposite-field singles to all three hitters, allowing the Tigers to open up an 8-3 lead.

Otherwise, it was a watchable loss. David Purcey dusted himself off from an awful debut to pitch a 1-2-3 inning, and Simon Castro faced the minimum in the scoreless ninth. They took care of business defensively, with Flowers throwing out two runners. Beckham made a diving stop himself and added a solo homer later. Dayan Viciedo went the other way twice for hits and drew a walk, and they brought the tying run to the plate against Joaquin Benoit.

It was just a bad start against a good team. That will happen, but it's seldom happened unaccompanied by other bad showings this season.

Record: 35-53 | Box score | Play-by-play | Highlights