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Porcello's first complete game pitches Tigers past White Sox

10:21 PM, Sep 10, 2013   |    comments
  • Starting pitcher Rick Porcello #21 of the Detroit Tigers delivers the ball against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on September 10, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
  • Prince Fielder #28 of the Detroit Tigers hits his 23rd home run of the season, a solo shot in the 3rd inning, against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on September 10, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    
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CHICAGO (DETROIT FREE PRESS) - Rick Porcello notched his first-ever complete game, allowed a run and striking out five as the Detroit Tigers beat the White Sox, 9-1, tonight in Chicago.

Porcello, who had the most starts in the majors without a complete game before tonight, gave up seven hits and a walk on 105 pitches.

Prince Fielder was 4-for-5 and hit his 23rd home run of the season and drove in a pair of runs. Alex Avila was 4-for-4 with a run and two RBIs. The Tigers scored five unearned runs as the White Sox committed four errors, three by rookie third baseman Conor Gillaspie.

Austin Jackson, Victor Martinez and Jose Iglesias each had two hits and Jackson and Iglesias both and an RBI in the ninth. 

The Tigers extended their lead in the AL Central to 5 1/2 games with the win and the Indians' 6-3 loss to Kansas City.

With two outs in the third and nobody on, Fielder hit a line drive home run to right. Then Victor Martinez singled to left and Don Kelly walked. Omar Infante seemed to hit an inning-ending grounder to third, but Paul Konerko couldn't hold on to the ball at first. Alex Avila made Chicago pay with a two-run single up the middle.

Porcello (12-8) did yield a run in the fourth. Konerko hit a one-out single and former Tiger Avisail Garcia followed with an infield single. Gillaspie then singled over the second baseman's head, allowing Konerko to score.

But after that, Porcello retired the last 14 hitters he faced, striking out two in the process. He needing just five pitches in the eighth.

He was sent back out in the ninth, but he allowed a leadoff walk to Adam Dunn. However, Konerko grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. Then, Garcia struck out swinging to end the game.

Detroit struck again in the fourth, which saw Austin Jackson lead off with a ground-rule double to the rightfield corner. Then with two outs, Fielder singled to center to make it 6-0. After Martinez walked, Chicago pulled starter Erik Johnson (0-2; 3 2/3 innings, six runs (two earned), seven hits, three walks, four strikeouts).

The Tigers took the lead in the first inning. With one out, Andy Dirks singled and then got to second on a passed ball. Then, Miguel Cabrera hit a chopper to third and Gillaspie throw was wild and went into the stands, allowing the run to score. After Fielder's single, Martinez hit a sac fly to left, scoring Cabrera.

Chicago seemed poised to get on the board in the second after Konerko's one-out single and Gillaspie's two-out double. Dayan Viciedo hit a hard liner back up the middle that Porcello snagged to end the threat.

In the fifth, the Tigers scored another unearned run, this off former Tiger David Purcey. With one out, Avila hit a double to right-center. Then with two away, Jackson grounded one to third, but Gillapsie's throw was errant again, allowing Avila to score.

Detroit scored again in the ninth off reliever Daniel Webb. Martinez hit a leadoff single and was lifted for pinch runner Hernan Perez. Then with two outs, Avila singled, followed by RBI hits by Iglesias and Jackson.

BY KIRKLAND CRAWFORD - DETROIT FREE PRESS

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