DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers tied the game with an astonishing six-run rally in the ninth inning, then beat the Chicago White Sox 7-6 on Saturday night when Omar Infante hit an infield single with the bases loaded in the 12th.
Infante's grounder deflected off the glove of reliever Jacob Petricka (1-1) with one out, and the Tigers spilled onto the field with Comerica Park in a frenzy. Detroit plays its final scheduled home game of the year Sunday and can clinch a third straight AL Central title with a win and a Cleveland loss.
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Trailing 6-0 in the ninth, the Tigers scored five runs before the first out. Pinch-hitter Andy Dirks hit a three-run homer to pull Detroit within one.
Al Alburquerque (4-3) got the win.
The Tigers won after trailing by six in the ninth for the first time since Aug. 22, 1947, according to STATS. They beat the Washington Senators 7-6 that day.
Chicago's Chris Sale was working on a shutout when he was pulled in the eighth after 97 pitches. Nate Jones got out of that inning and after the White Sox added three runs in the top of the ninth, he came back to the mound with a 6-0 lead.
Detroit wasted no time turning a previously subdued night at the ballpark into a memorable one.
Torii Hunter led off with a triple and scored on Miguel Cabrera's single. After a single by Prince Fielder, Victor Martinez added an RBI double.
The key hit came from Dirks, who followed Martinez with a homer that made it 6-5. Chicago closer Addison Reed, who didn't appear to have had much time to warm up, came on and immediately walked Infante, who moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ramon Santiago.
Pinch-hitter Alex Avila and Austin Jackson both drew walks to load the bases for Hunter, whose sacrifice fly tied it.
Cabrera walked to load the bases again, but Donnie Veal came on and got Prince Fielder to ground out to keep the game tied.
Alburquerque threw two scoreless innings, and Detroit scored the winning run without hitting the ball out of the infield. Don Kelly walked and went to second on Fielder's groundout. After an intentional walk to Martinez, Dirks walked to load the bases.
Infante's grounder might have been a double play ball, but Petricka tried to field it, and when it bounced off his glove, the White Sox had no play.
Sale allowed four hits and a walk. He struck out seven.
Detroit starter Rick Porcello allowed two runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings. He struck out nine.
The White Sox scored two runs in the seventh and one in the eighth before a three-run ninth appeared to have put the game out of reach. Bryan Anderson hit a two-run double in the ninth.
NOTES: Chicago acquired LHP Frank De Los Santos from Tampa Bay for a player to be named or cash. He will not be added to the major league roster. ... Detroit LF Matt Tuiasosopo made an outstanding diving catch for the third out in the seventh, preventing the White Sox from scoring more that inning. ... The Tigers send RHP Anibal Sanchez (14-7) to the mound Sunday to face Chicago RHP Erik Johnson (1-2).