Series: Game 1 of 3

Chicago leads 1-0 (as of 5/24)

Game 1: Friday, May 24
Detroit 1Final
Chicago 12
Game 2: Saturday, May 25
Detroit 4Final
Chicago 6
Game 3: Sunday, May 26
Detroit 9Final
Chicago 2

Tigers 1

(17-28, 4-19 away)

White Sox 12

(27-21, 16-7 home)

    8:05 PM ET, May 24, 2002

    U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago, Illinois 

    123456789 R H E
    DET 010000000 1 - -
    CWS 01403103 - 12 - -

    W: M. Buehrle (8-3)

    L: S. Sparks (2-5)

    Buehrle first AL pitcher to eight wins

    CHICAGO (AP) -- Mark Buehrle has been getting more run support than he needs.

    Buehrle pitched a five-hitter to become the American League's first eight-game winner and Frank Thomas hit one of four Chicago homers to lead the White Sox to a 12-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.

    Mark Buehrle

    Thomas, Magglio Ordonez and Paul Konerko hit three-run homers and Kenny Lofton added a solo shot as the White Sox won their third straight game.

    This was the 10th time this season that Chicago has scored double digit runs.

    Buehrle (8-3) gave up only an unearned run, struck out five and walked one in his fifth career complete game and first this season.

    "He's great to play behind,'' Konerko said. "When he gets a lead he just puts it on cruise control. He just gets better and better every time.''

    But Buehrle said he didn't even have his best stuff.

    "My sinker wasn't working tonight at all,'' he said. "I had to rely heavily on my four-seam fastball instead of going to the sinker.''

    Steve Sparks (2-5) gave up eight runs -- seven earned -- and nine hits in four-plus innings for the Tigers, who had their six-game winning streak snapped.

    "When you win six, seven games straight -- you lose one, you always know you can come back because you've already done it,'' Tigers manager Luis Pujols said. "To me, that's probably the best left-hander we've faced.''

    Sparks got into trouble in the third inning by giving up a leadoff home run to Lofton. He then walked Ray Durham, and Ordonez reached base on an error by second baseman Shane Halter. Konerko than followed with his eighth homer, giving the White Sox a 5-1 lead.

    "I thought we did a pretty good job of being aggressive hitting the easier one, the get-me-over one,'' said Konerko.

    In the fifth inning, Sparks found himself in more trouble when he gave up back-to-back singles to Ordonez and Konerko. Thomas followed with his 10th homer to make it 8-1.

    "They just did a good job of hitting today,'' Sparks said. "It's a lethal lineup and they took advantage of some bad pitches and hit some good pitches.''

    In the eighth inning, Kris Keller making his major league debut gave up a leadoff walk to Royce Clayton. Two batters later, Keller walked Durham and Ordonez followed with his 10th homer.

    Lofton led off the sixth inning with a walk and moved to second base on a single by Durham. One batter later, Konerko drove in Lofton on a single for his fourth RBI of the night.

    The only Tigers run came in the second inning when Halter tripled to center field after Lofton misplayed the flyball. Lofton charged in and tried to jump and catch it, but the ball sailed over his head and rolled center field fence.

    Chris Truby followed with a lineout to Durham at second base. Durham thought he caught Halter off the base, and fired an errant throw into the stands allowing Halter to score.

    "He locates every pitch well,'' Halter said of Buehrle. "He throws his cutter down and in, he misses down and in. He throws his fastball out over the plate and tries to hit a corner, he misses out over the corner. He never misses to the middle of the plate.

    "He's one of those guys that you have to manufacture runs against. And you've got to keep a low-scoring game.''

    Game notes

    Game-time temperature was 46 degrees with winds gusting up to 26 mph. ... Since the start of the 2001 season, Buehrle has gone 24-11 in 43 starts. ... The White Sox have won 18 of the last 21 meetings with the Tigers.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press