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Thome homers in fourth straight game as ChiSox sweep

DETROIT (AP) -- For three terrible hours Thursday, Jim Leyland
thought he was back at Coors Field.

After looking forward to managing in a pitcher's park again,
Leyland could only wonder what was happening while his Tigers lost
13-9 to the Chicago White Sox.

"The ball certainly carried more today that I would have
expected here," said Leyland, who spent a lot of time at Coors
when he managed the Rockies in 1999. "They were flying out of here
like ping-pong balls."

The game set Comerica Park records for hits (38) and extra-base
hits (15).

"If this keeps up, they [the Tigers] are going to hit 700 home
runs," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said.

Jim Thome homered for the fourth straight game, helping the
White Sox sweep the three-game series. They are 10-2 at Comerica
since the start of last season.

"We swung the bats really well today," said Thome, who has 45
career homers against the Tigers. "This was a huge series for us --
we knew we had to step it up against them, because they have been
playing really well."

Chicago led 9-1 early, but the Tigers nearly got a go-ahead
three-run homer from Dmitri Young in the sixth. Curtis Granderson
also struck out with the bases loaded to end the game.

"Sweeping this team, the way they were playing, is tough,"
Guillen said. "I think we weren't playing the game the way we
should early, but now we are getting better."

Despite three hits, including a homer, from red-hot Chris
Shelton, the Tigers fell to 5-4 after winning their first five
games. Shelton is hitting .514 with a 1.297 slugging percentage.

"We kept battling, but we could never stop the bleeding,"
Leyland said. "It wasn't that we played that badly, but when you
don't get the pitching, you won't look good no matter what you
do."

Jon Garland (1-1) got the win despite allowing seven runs and 13
hits, tying a career high, in five innings.

"Stuff-wise, it feels like I'm there," said Garland, who has a
13.94 ERA in two starts. "I don't know if every hitter in the
league is just really good or my location is that bad."

Chicago took a two-run lead in the first on back-to-back homers
by Iguchi and Thome, both of which cleared the bullpens in
left-center field. It was the sixth of the season for Thome, who
hit seven last year when he struggled with injuries.

The Tigers got a run back in the bottom half on Ivan Rodriguez's
RBI single, but Chicago came back with five runs in the third.

After Justin Verlander (1-1) retired the first two batters,
Thome walked and Paul Konerko singled. A wild pitch put runners on
second and third, and Jermaine Dye followed with a two-run single.

A.J. Pierzynski and Joe Crede had run-scoring singles, chasing
Verlander, and Cintron greeted Jason Grilli with a run-scoring
triple.

Verlander, who pitched seven scoreless innings in his season
debut, gave up seven runs and seven hits in just 2 2/3 innings.

"I didn't have the stuff I did last time," the 23-year-old
rookie said. "So I knew it was going to be a long day, and I just
tried to battle through it."

Thome drove in a run with a double and scored on Dye's single to
make it 9-1 in the fourth, but the White Sox struggled to put
Detroit away.

Shelton hit his major league-leading seventh homer in the bottom
of the fourth, cutting the margin to six, and after Cintron's RBI
triple in the fifth, the Tigers scored four runs in the bottom
half.

After Magglio Ordonez's two-run homer, Shelton and Guillen hit
back-to-back doubles. Craig Monroe's single made it 10-7, but he
was thrown out to end the inning while trying to advance to second
on the play.

Rodriguez's RBI single cut the deficit to two runs in the sixth,
but Young flew out to the warning track to end the inning and
Iguchi's two-run double highlighted a three-run seventh that put
the game away.

Game notes
Verlander's ERA jumped from zero to 6.52. ... Monroe was
one of three players thrown out on the bases -- Dye was out at
second trying to stretch his RBI single in the fourth and Guillen
was thrown out at the plate on what looked like an easy triple for
Omar Infante. ... Garland also allowed 13 hits last Aug. 2 against
Toronto. ... Infante tied a career high with four hits.

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