Series: Game 3 of 3

Detroit won 2-1

Game 1: Monday, September 18
Chi White Sox2
Game 2: Tuesday, September 19
Chi White Sox7
Game 3: Wednesday, September 20
Chi White Sox2

Tigers 6

(91-61, 46-31 away)

White Sox 2

(85-67, 47-30 home)

    8:05 PM ET, September 20, 2006

    U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago, Illinois 

    123456789 R H E
    DET 002020011 6 13 1
    CWS 000002000 2 6 1

    W: J. Bonderman (13-8)

    L: J. Garland (17-6)

    Tigers cripple White Sox hopes, maintain AL Central lead

    CHICAGO (AP) -- The Detroit Tigers have been atop the AL Central since May 16. They're refusing to budge now.

    Elias Says
    Joe Crede
    Joe Crede went 0-for-4 and grounded into three double plays in the White Sox's loss to the Tigers. Crede is 0-for-his-last-22, which matches the longest hitless streaks of his career; he went 22 straight at-bats without a hit during both the 2003 and 2005 seasons.

    Crede is the first player to ground into three double plays in one game since Todd Greene did it for the Rockies almost two years ago (Sept. 29, 2004). Over the past 15 seasons (1991-2005) the only player to do it for the White Sox in a nine-inning game was Maggio Ordonez (May 12, 1998).

    • For more Elias Says, click here

    Their 10-game lead from early August has nearly evaporated, but their playoff hopes are as strong as ever after they beat the Chicago White Sox 6-2 on Wednesday night.

    "We feel comfortable, but at the same time we can't feel too comfortable. We have another team behind us that's playing really well," Curtis Granderson said after getting three of the Tigers' 14 hits.

    Detroit still leads Minnesota by one-half game in the division after the Twins beat Boston 8-2 on Wednesday night.

    "Any way to go in. If it happens to be on top, that's a plus," Granderson said, referring to the possibility of winning the wild card. "But any way it happens is OK with us."

    The Tigers won two of three in Chicago and all but ended the defending World Series champions' chances of returning to the postseason.

    Power Struggle:
    AL Central leaders vs. each other (since All-Star break)
    Chicago White Sox
    DET: 7-6
    MIN: 2-7
    Detroit Tigers
    MIN: 4-6
    CWS: 6-7
    Minnesota Twins
    CWS: 7-2
    DET: 6-4

    Detroit's Magglio Ordonez homered Wednesday night -- his third of the series against his former team -- and so did Ivan Rodriguez.

    The White Sox lost for the fifth time in six games. With 10 games left, they trail the Tigers by six games in the division and Minnesota by 5½ for the wild card.

    "It's not impossible, but it's hard. It's not over yet, but obviously we're climbing a real tough wall," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said.

    Jeremy Bonderman (13-8), just 1-4 in his 10 previous starts, allowed five hits in six innings with a walk and two strikeouts. He took a 4-0 lead into the sixth before surrendering solo homers to Juan Uribe and Tadahito Iguchi.

    "We haven't done anything yet but put ourselves in a decent position. That's all we've done," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We have 10 left. We have to win enough to get in."

    Joel Zumaya pitched hitless ball for two innings and Todd Jones worked a scoreless ninth.

    The Tigers had three straight hits to open both the third and fifth innings and built a four-run lead against Jon Garland (17-6), who failed for a second straight start to get his 18th win and match his total of last season.

    Garland gave up 12 hits and five runs in seven-plus innings and left after giving up Ordonez's 23rd homer in the eighth.

    "Terrible," he said, describing his outing.

    Garland was just as blunt assessing the White Sox's slim chance of making it to the postseason.

    "We have to win out and hopefully they lose some games," Garland said. "With the way Minnesota has played, it's highly unlikely, but you never know."

    Marcus Thames reached on an infield single to shortstop leading off the third and scored on Brandon Inge's RBI double to right-center, which was followed by another run-scoring double from Granderson.

    Inge and Granderson singled in the fifth, Rodriguez hit an RBI-double and Sean Casey delivered a sacrifice fly to make it 4-0.

    Uribe led off the bottom of the sixth with his 19th homer, trimming the lead to 4-1. One out later, Iguchi hit his 17th, a drive to right-center that was just out of the reach of a leaping Granderson.

    But Bonderman, as he did most of the night, was able to regroup after giving up a single to Jermaine Dye following Iguchi's homer. He struck out Jim Thome and got Paul Konerko on a fielder's choice grounder.

    "Any time you get to September, you have something to play for and you're leading your division, it doesn't get much better than this," Bonderman said.

    Ordonez, who homered twice in Detroit's 8-2 series-opening victory Monday, drove a pitch from Garland over the center field fence to make it a three-run game. Rodriguez added his 12th homer in the ninth off Neal Cotts.

    Game notes

    Chicago's Joe Crede hit into three double plays, including the one that ended the game. ... Detroit headed to Baltimore for a makeup game Thursday before going to Kansas City for three games. The Tigers then finish the season at home against Toronto and Kansas City. ... Chicago plays four games against Seattle at home before closing the season on the road at Cleveland and Minnesota. ... Garland dropped to 12-6 lifetime against the Tigers. ... The White Sox won the season series 12-7. ... The two homers gave the Tigers 115 on the road this season -- a club record. The previous mark was 114 set two years ago.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press