White Sox thump winless Tigers
Verlander allows 9 runs as Detroit flops at home again
DETROIT - Nick Swisher homered on the second pitch of the game, and it only got worse for the Detroit Tigers.
Mark Buehrle pitched seven strong innings and the Chicago White Sox batters rocked Justin Verlander in a 13-2 rout of the Tigers last night, Detroit's sixth straight loss.
"This is very frustrating," said Verlander, who gave up a career-high nine runs. "I think everyone on this team needs to do some soul searching."
Despite the second-highest payroll in baseball, the Tigers are the only winless team in the majors and are off to their worst start since going 0-9 in 2003, when they lost an AL-record 119 games.
"I'm sure people are expecting me to rant and rave, but this team has too many professionals for me to have to do that," manager Jim Leyland said. "They shouldn't need to be told what they are doing wrong."
All six of Detroit's losses have come at home, in front of nearly 250,000 fans. Last night, one of the few cheers was a sarcastic ovation after Yorman Bazardo got the last out of Chicago's four-run ninth.
Buehrle (1-0) rebounded from being tagged for seven runs on Opening Day, holding the Tigers to two runs and seven hits. He was helped by double plays in each of his last four innings.
"When I'm getting ground balls and breaking bats, I know that I'm in a groove," he said. "I wanted to keep the team in the game until the bats took over."
Chicago turned five double plays, all in the last six innings.
"I always say that defense wins games," Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said. "That's what happened today. Defense like that makes your pitcher look better."
Verlander (0-1) didn't get much help from his teammates. He allowed five unearned runs and saw several balls scoot through Detroit's infield.
"I was making good pitches and getting ground balls, but they kept going to places where no one could get to them," he said. "That's what makes this so hard."
Swisher hit the first leadoff homer of his career down the right-field line.
"Against a great pitcher like Verlander, I just wanted to go out there and mix things up," he said. "I got a fastball down the middle, got good wood on it and it went out. I was really excited."
The Tigers tied it on Ramon Santiago's RBI double in the third, but Chicago went ahead, 3-1, in the fifth on an RBI single by Joe Crede and a run-scoring ground out by Juan Uribe.
The White Sox put the game away with six runs in the sixth. With one out, Paul Konerko reached when Carlos Guillen dropped a throw at first, and Jermaine Dye followed with a double. After an intentional walk loaded the bases, Verlander hit Carlos Quentin, who had four RBIs, forcing in a run.
Crede and Swisher added RBI singles, chasing Verlander. Orlando Cabrera then made it 9-1 with a three-run double off Aquilino Lopez.
"We made too many inexcusable mistakes tonight," Leyland said. "I don't mean errors - I don't have a problem with errors. I mean plays that just cannot happen. We have to deal with that."