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GAME OF THE DAY

Tigers Lose; Division Lead Is Almost Gone

September 20, 2006|From the Associated Press

CHICAGO — Freddy Garcia gave up one hit in eight shutout innings for the second straight start and A.J. Pierzynski hit a grand slam to help the slumping White Sox defeat the Detroit Tigers, 7-0, Tuesday night.

The Tigers' lead in the AL Central dropped to half a game over Minnesota, which beat Boston, 7-3. The White Sox ended a four-game losing streak.

Garcia came within four outs of a perfect game and gave up one hit over eight innings in a 9-0 win over the Angels in his previous start. He was just as good against the Tigers.

He retired 23 consecutive batters again -- this time after walking Curtis Granderson to start the game and giving up a single to center by the next batter, Ivan Rodriguez. He kept the Tigers off the bases until Brandon Inge walked with two out in the eighth. Garcia (15-9) struck out five and walked two. Bobby Jenks pitched the ninth to complete the two-hitter.

Pierzynski gave the White Sox a 4-0 lead in the fourth with the fifth grand slam of his career.

"That was big," Garcia said. "A.J.'s a big-time hitter.... For me, I was thinking right there, that's what I need."

Jermaine Dye and Jim Thome went deep with two out in the fifth and chased Tigers starter Justin Verlander (16-9), who gave up six runs, six hits and three walks while striking out two in 4 2/3 innings.

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