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White Sox 5, Tigers 3: A series victory

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Chris Sale survives laborious third inning to pick up 11th win

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Now we know the White Sox can win a series without needing Matt Albers' offensive prowess.

The Sox took just their second series out of their last 12 by avenging their loss in an otherwise favorable Chris Sale-Mike Pelfrey matchup 11 days ago. This time, Sale endured a tough three-run third to outpitch Pelfrey, who was tormented by Tim Anderson throughout the evening.

Anderson went 3-for-5 with three runs. He gave Sale the lead with his first one, and after the Condor gave up an RBI single and a two-run homer in a 35-pitch third, Anderson helped bail him out by scoring the tying and go-ahead runs.

The newly appointed leadoff man was up to the task multiple times. In the first, he opened the attack with a single, took second on Adam Eaton's HBP, then came home two batters later on Melky Cabrera's sac fly.

After the Sox couldn't get the tying run home after Brett Lawrie's RBI groundout moved it within 90 feet in the fourth, Anderson started the fifth with a rousing triple to right. With the infield playing back, an Eaton groundout did the job to tie the game at 3.

Brad Ausmus then made the unpopular decision -- among Detroit fans, at least -- to start the seventh, and Anderson chased him with a triple. The bullpen couldn't strand him. Adam Eaton shot a ground-rule double off Blaine Hardy, and while an unlucky bounce on the warning track kept Anderson on third, a sac fly by Todd Frazier eventually brought home the go-ahead run.

J.B. Shuck provided an insurance run with a go-ahead triple in the eighth, but White Sox pitching didn't need it. Sale, who improved to 11-2, allowed just one hit over his final four innings of work, finishing with seven strikeouts to eight baserunners (six hits, one walk, one HBP) over seven frames.

Nate Jones made easy work of the eighth, while David Robertson stranded two singles in the ninth for his 16th save. He could've gotten out of it one batter earlier when a shot through the middle clipped the mound, giving Anderson a chance. Anderson got leather on it, but he couldn't handle it cleanly. Originally scored an error, it was quickly revised to a single, and it ended up not mattering either way.

Bullet points:

*Shuck -- playing center while Avisail Garcia DH'd -- saved one run by gunning down James McCann at the plate.

*The White Sox scored five runs without the benefit of a homer, or even a hit with runners in scoring position. They were 0-for-10 in that department, as they instead relied on triples and productive outs.

*The Sox went 23-10 in their first 33, and 10-23 in their next 33. Maybe now it'll resemble a normal season for a decent team.

Record: 33-33 | Box score | Highlights