Max Scherzer #37 of the Detroit Tigers stands on the field after making a throwing error that allowed Dayan Viciedo #24 and Jordan Danks #20 of the Chicago White Sox to score during the fourth inning at U.S. Cellular Field on September 9, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
Max Scherzer was once again denied his 20th win as the Tigers lost to the White Sox, 5-1, tonight in Chicago.
Chris Sale, the other All-Star pitcher in the game, gave up just one earned run on four hits and a walk while striking out eight.
It's the sixth loss in the last eight games for the Tigers, whose lead in the AL Central is now down to 4 1/2 games after the Indians beat the Royals tonight in Cleveland.
In the first inning, Miguel Cabrera was ejected by home plate umpire Brian Gorman during Cabrera's at bat. An 0-1 pitch hit Cabrera in the leg but Gorman ruled that Cabrera's check swing went too far. After some mild conversation, Cabrera fouled off a pitch. After what seemed to be some more talking, Gorman was tossed. Soon after, Jim Leyland was also ejected. Ramon Santiago finished the at bat by grounding to short.
The Tigers were down a pair of runs until there were two away in the fourth. Conor Gillaspie double to right and then scored on Dayan Viciedo's flare single to right. Jordan Danks then singled to right and Josh Phelgey hit a swinging bunt down the third base line. Scherzer fielded the ball and then fired wildly to first. Phegley was awarded an infield single and Danks scored on the error.
Meanwhile, Sale (11-12) held the Tigers in check. He gave up a one-out single in the second to Victor Martinez, though Sale recorded the next two outs. He pitched around a leadoff walk to Torii Hunter by getting the next three outs. Nick Castellanos got his second career hit to open the fifth, but a fielder's choice and a double play ended the inning.
Detroit didn't get a runner in scoring position until the sixth, when Jose Iglesias hit a leadoff single and then got to second on a groundout. But Santiago struck out to end the threat.
Martinez (2-for-3) got the Tigers on the board with a solo home run, his 12th of the year, off Sale with one out in the seventh. But he ended the seventh by striking out Omar Infante and went 1-2-3 in the eighth, striking out Iglesias and Austin Jackson to end the frame.
Nate Jones struck out Hunter to open the ninth. He then got Hunter and Prince Fielder to ground out to end the game.
Scherzer (19-3) pitched just four innings, giving up five runs (four earned) on six hits and two walks while striking out six on 90 pitches.
In the bottom of the inning, Alejandro De Aza hit a leadoff single and Gordon Beckham walked. With one out, Adam Dunn flied out to center and both runners moved up. Then, Paul Konerko singled to right-center, driving in both.
Jose Alvarez walked the first two hitters he faced to start the fifth, Beckham and Alexei Ramirez. But he struck out Dunn, Paul Konerko and Gillaspie. Alvarez faced the minimum in the sixth and seventh.
Joaquin Benoit, who had not pitched since Sept. 1, got the first two outs of the ninth before allowing a double to Gillapsie.
BY KIRKLAND CRAWFORD - DFP