A reporter asked Chicago White Sox slugger Paul Konerko about the timing of his return Monday night from the 15-day disabled list because he’s a lifetime .291 hitter against Detroit, but Konerko was more forthcoming about Monday night’s matchup between All-Star pitchers Chris Sale of the Sox and Max Scherzer of Detroit.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this marks the eighth time since 2000 that All-Star pitchers have face each other in their first starts after the All-Star break.
The major difference is that Scherzer, with ample run support, is 13-1. Sale is 6-8, thanks to a major league low 2.70 runs of support in his starts.
The Sox committed three errors that led to five unearned runs and resulted in Scherzer coasting to a 7-2 victory.
Detroit took a 1-0 lead in top of the third after two out. Torii Hunter hit a single, advanced to second on a walk to Miguel Cabrera and scored on a single by Prince Fielder.
In the top of the fifth, an error by shortstop Alexei Ramirez – his first since June 28 – led to two runs. Walks to Cabrera (intentional) and Fielder set up a two-out, two-run single by Victor Martinez.
Cabrera, who limped across home plate, left after unsuccessfully trying to field Adam Dunn’s grounder past him at third for the Sox’s first hit. Cabrera was diagnosed with a left hip flexor and was listed as day to day.
Dayan Viciedo ended Scherzer’s shutout bid with a home run over the right field fence in the sixth.
But Hunter countered in the top of the seventh with a homer over the right field fence.
The Tigers added three more runs in the ninth on a fielding error by Ramon Troncoso and a throwing miscue by Ramirez after catcher Josh Phegley caught Brayan Pena wandering too far off second.
Scherzer struck out a season-low five in eight innings. Sale struck out 11 in eight innings.