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(Wednesday, September 12th)
Final Score: Detroit 8, Chicago 6
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - A relieved Prince Fielder smacked a 3-1 slider in the seventh inning and watched it fly into the right-center field seats.
Fielder's three-run homer snapped a prolonged 0-for-18 slump and helped the Detroit Tigers down the Chicago White Sox, 8-6, in the third installment of a crucial four-game set.
The Tigers have won the last two games of the series after dropping the opener. They're just a game back of the White Sox for the top spot in the AL Central.
"If we focus on playing good baseball, it should work out," Fielder said.
Max Scherzer (16-6), who extended his winning streak to six games, fanned seven and allowed a run on four hits over six frames. The American League- strikeout leader had struck out at least eight batters in each of his last 10 starts.
Kevin Youkilis hit a pair of blasts, a three-run and solo shot, for Chicago, which has dropped four of its last six contests.
"We're not quitting at any point," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said, whose team has lost nine of their last 10 games against Detroit. "That's the one great thing about the team, they're not going to get down where they're giving up."
Sidelined since Aug. 27 due to a right elbow strain, Gavin Floyd (9-10) struck out seven, but gave up three runs on four hits and a walk in 4 2/3 innings to take the loss.
Already holding a 3-1 advantage, the Tigers padded their lead in the seventh.
Back-to-back two-out singles by Andy Dirks and Miguel Cabrera preceded Fielder's 26th homer, which made it 6-1.
A pair of RBI doubles by Alex Avila and Austin Jackson in the eighth increased the margin to 8-1, but Chicago made it interesting over the final two frames.
Joaquin Benoit relieved Brayan Villarreal in the eighth after he issued consecutive one-out walks to Dan Johnson and Orlando Hudson. Alejandro De Aza followed with a single, which brought home Johnson, before Youkilis lined a three-run blast over the wall in left field and cut the deficit to 8-5.
Alex Rios started the ninth off Jose Valverde with a single to left field and stole second before he crossed the plate two batters later on a groundout from Alexei Ramirez.
Johnson hit a two-out single to right field, but Valverde struck out Hudson to end the game and notch his 30th save of the season.
Earlier, Youkilis smacked a one-out solo homer into the seats in left, which opened the scoring, but the Tigers pushed three across in the fifth.
Floyd, who had retired 11 in a row heading into that frame, surrendered a leadoff single to Brennan Boesch. He came home three batters later on Omar Infante's groundout, then Austin Jackson and Cabrera added RBI base hits for a 3-1 Detroit advantage.
Floyd took over for scheduled starter Francisco Liriano ... Scherzer has 220 strikeouts this season. His teammate, Justin Verlander, is second in the AL with 212 punchouts ... Detroit was 5-for-11 with runners in scoring position, while Chicago finished 2-for-4.
09/13 02:51:27 ET
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