White Sox hold off Tigers, retain wild-card lead

DETROIT (AP) -- Jim Thome struggled to lift his left hamstring
onto a shelf to put his sock on.

The Chicago White Sox are hopeful Thome's injury will not
prevent him from helping carry them to the playoffs so they can
defend their World Series title.

Thome limped off the field in the second inning of a 7-5 victory
over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night, and manager Ozzie
Guillen expects the designated hitter to miss only the series
finale in the Motor City.

"The good news is it's not a big deal," Guillen said.

Thome isn't so sure.

"I don't think it's a cramp because a cramp usually goes
away," he said. "There's probably a strain in there.

"I've never had a hamstring injury. We'll think the best,
re-evaluate it and do our best to get back as quick as possible."

The White Sox lost the first two matchups in the four-game
series with the AL Central-leading Tigers, but bounced back with
Joe Crede's two home runs and Jermaine Dye's three-run homer.

"It was definitely big for us, especially at this time of the
year and chasing the Tigers," Crede said. "It's good that we
gained a game on them.

"We have a lot of games left. It will be fun to see what

Chicago, which had lost six of eight, trails the Tigers by 6½
games in the division and has a half-game lead over Minnesota in
the wild-card race. The Twins travel to play the White Sox this

Guillen said regardless of how the series in Detroit ends, if
the White Sox win 95 games they will make the playoffs.

The White Sox added Thome last winter and after watching him hit
.294 with 36 homers and 91 RBI, they don't want to lose him for
any length of time with less than six weeks left in the season.

Thome pulled up after rounding first base on an RBI ground-rule
double and favored his left leg.

"He's going to be day by day," said Guillen, adding he will
not count on Thome to play Thursday.

Dmitri Young hit a two-run homer for the Tigers, who failed to
rally for a late-inning win like they often have this season.

The White Sox went ahead 6-3 with three runs in the second and
maintained their three-run lead until the sixth.

Sean Casey, the first to face reliever Matt Thornton, hit a
two-run double to pull Detroit within a run. Crede bumped the lead
back to two runs in the seventh with his second homer.

Freddy Garcia (12-8) allowed five runs and seven hits over 5 1/3

"We had some good opportunities and didn't capitalize," Casey

Thornton and Mike MacDougal combined for 2 2/3 innings of
scoreless relief before Bobby Jenks worked the ninth for his 36th
save in 38 opportunities.

Rookie Zach Miner (7-5) gave up six runs, four hits and two
walks over 1 1/3 innings, his shortest outing and third straight

In the first, Miner was a strike away from retiring the side in
order -- instead of giving up three runs in the inning. Thome drew a
two-out walk after facing an 0-2 count, Paul Konerko followed with
a single and Dye's 35th homer gave Chicago a 3-0 lead.

"I lost myself there," Miner said. "Two-out walks will get
you in trouble every time."

Chicago lost the cushion briefly in the bottom half when Craig Monroe doubled and scored on Young's homer and Magglio Ordonez
doubled and scored on Ivan Rodriguez's single.

"It would've been easy to say, 'Here we go again,'" Guillen

Crede's leadoff homer in the second put the White Sox ahead for
good. Crede connected on a low pitch that he appeared to hit out
with one hand.

"If you make a pitch in that location, it shouldn't leave the
park," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.

Game notes
Crede has 101 career homers -- 20 against Detroit. ... The
Tigers guaranteed this would not be the 13th straight losing season
with Tuesday's win, but Leyland wasn't impressed. "I didn't come
here to finish .500," he said. "Obviously this is my last
go-around, so I came here to give it my best shot and I hope we win
something." ... The Tigers drew their 19th sellout in 29 games
during a stretch when they had been ignored by fans in recent