Sox nick Verlander twice, but Tigers ace hangs tough
Justin Verlander proved too powerful for the White Sox on Tuesday night.
Despite touching the Detroit ace for a pair of 2-run home runs, the White Sox managed little else in the Tigers' back-and-forth 5-4 victory at U.S. Cellular Field.
Verlander (14-5) went 8 innings, striking out seven and giving up 4 runs. He hit 100 miles an hour on the stadium radar gun on his 120th pitch in the eighth inning.
In the innings when they didn't score, the White Sox didn't get a runner past second base.
"The course of the game was really a seesaw battle, and to be able to come up on top was uplifting for us and hopefully demoralizing for those guys," Verlander said.
The Sox did have glimmers of hope in the first and sixth innings.
With two outs in the first, Paul Konerko doubled before Adam Dunn smacked a home run on the ninth pitch of the at-bat to give the White Sox a 2-0 lead.
But Verlander, a Cy Young candidate and the American League strikeout leader, quickly regrouped by striking out Carlos Quentin on three pitches to end the inning. The White Sox struggled to put anything together over the next five, with Verlander putting down 14 of 15 at one point.
The Sox struck again when Konerko put one over the fence in the sixth to tie the game at 4-4. But Verlander bore down once again and allowed only two more baserunners.
The all-star pitched one of his worst games of the season the last time he faced the White Sox -- on July 15 -- when Verlander surrendered 4 earned runs and 7 hits in 6 innings as the White Sox won 8-2.
It wasn't the first time the White Sox had found success against Verlander. Entering Tuesday night's game, the White Sox were hoping to hand Verlander his 11th career loss against them, which would have tied for the most defeats he has suffered against a single team.
Even with that success, Ozzie Guillen was still cautious in speaking about the White Sox' chances against Verlander before the game.
"When Justin's on the mound you know you got to step it up a notch and put your game at a different level, because he's not the type of pitcher who's going to get you out, he's the type of pitcher who might leave you embarrassed," Guillen said.