Vazquez quiets Tigers as ChiSox go 1 game ahead of Twins in Central

CHICAGO -- Javier Vazquez spent the long delay relaxing by his locker and playing X-Box. Then, he toyed with the Tigers.

Vazquez took a shutout into the eighth, Alexei Ramirez homered and the Chicago White Sox hung on to beat Detroit 4-2 in the first game of a doubleheader on a soggy Sunday after two days of rainouts.

Vazquez (12-13) delivered one of his best performances to help the White Sox move a game ahead of Minnesota in the American League Central.

"It was big," he said. "We can't look at what Minnesota's doing. We've got to do our part and win."

Vazquez did his part, allowing three hits in 7 2/3 scoreless innings while striking out eight to give him 2,003 in his career.

Juan Uribe singled in Ken Griffey Jr. in the fifth inning and Ramirez made it 2-0 in the seventh with his 17th homer, sending the White Sox to just their second win in six games. DeWayne Wise added an RBI double in the eighth, and Jermaine Dye drove him in with a single that made it 4-0 and chased Justin Verlander (10-16).

Detroit's Magglio Ordonez hit a two-run homer off Bobby Jenks in the ninth and the Tigers had the tying run on after Matt Joyce singled with one out, before Gary Sheffield grounded into a game-ending double play.

"Both teams I think were a little slugglish after laying around like that, but not one more than the other obviously," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "Come out of it, the ball was kind of funky for the first couple of innings, damp. That's the way it goes, the ball is not going anywhere, but you get back into it."

The late drama aside, the White Sox were glad to get the game in after rain washed out the previous two days. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen couldn't remember a stretch where weather caused such havoc.

Chicago got swept by Toronto on Tuesday in a day-night doubleheader after a rainout, and the problems continued this weekend.

The White Sox and Tigers were supposed to play a doubleheader Saturday, and this one appeared to be in jeopardy as the remnants of Hurricane Ike rolled through the area on Sunday. Instead of a day-night doubleheader, the game got delayed 3 hours, 11 minutes and the teams tried to play a standard twinbill. There were only a few hundred fans at U.S. Cellular Field when it started.

Vazquez, who would have pitched Saturday on three days' rest, made it worth their while.

"I played about six years in Montreal so I'm used to [small crowds]," he said.

He left to a nice ovation after walking Dusty Ryan with two out in the eighth. Matt Thornton came in and struck out Curtis Granderson to end the inning, but the Tigers made things interesting against Jenks, who matched a career-high by allowing three runs against Toronto on Wednesday. The White Sox won that game 6-5 and Jenks hung on this time, after Placido Polanco led off the ninth with a single and Ordonez drove his 20th homer to center.

Guillen visited the mound after Joyce's single but insisted his closer is fine.

"He's had a couple bad outings," Guillen said. "I just went out there to see how he feels. He said he's fine. He threw the right pitch to get a double play."

Verlander -- Friday's scheduled starter -- allowed four runs and nine hits in 7 2/3 innings while dropping to 0-3 in his last four starts. He is 2-9 in 14 starts against Chicago and 0-6 at U.S. Cellular Field.

The White Sox got a run in the fifth when Griffey Jr. doubled off the center-field wall and Uribe singled with two out. Ramirez made it 2-0 when he homered to the left-field bullpen in the seventh.

"It was nice to be able to throw the ball well here, but I've thrown the ball well here three times and not done well in the last inning or the last out," Verlander said. "You can even narrow it done to the last out in the game. But I think pitching here I have done a lot better than years previous."

Game notes
Chicago's John Danks pitched against Kenny Rogers in the nightcap. ... Vazquez is the 62nd pitcher -- and ninth active one -- with at least 2,000 strikeouts. ... White Sox 1B Paul Konerko still isn't sure when his sprained right knee will heal enough to let him play. "No predictions," he said. Manager Ozzie Guillen has said he hopes Konerko, who hurt himself during Tuesday's doubleheader against Toronto, will be able to play when the White Sox visit the Yankees this week.