DETROIT — It took the White Sox more than six innings Monday night at Comerica Park, but they eventually broke through against Tigers right-hander Anibal Sanchez.
The Sox scored three runs on four hits in the seventh inning off Sanchez on the way to a 3-1 victory over the Tigers in the opener of a four-game series.
“(Sanchez) has got absolutely nasty stuff,” Sox third baseman Conor Gillaspie said. “He’s one of those guys where you never know what he’s going to throw you. He threw the ball well for six innings. We scrapped a couple of runs out, and with the way our pitching staff has thrown, it was great.”
The Tigers took an early lead against Danks, who allowed a single by Torii Hunter and walked two to load the bases in the second inning. Hunter scored on Alex Avila’s groundout to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
Danks walked three in the first two innings but settled in to last 61/3 innings. He gave up one earned run on six hits, walked three and struck out one.
“Enough was made about his velocity being able to come back (after a shoulder injury), and for me it’s more about his strength and endurance than it is about velocity,” Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He had a great changeup tonight, just keeping guys off balance, and that’s the biggest thing. He can locate better now and longer than he did before.”
The Sox managed just one hit through six innings to trail by a run early, but Gillaspie led off the seventh with a double. Jose Abreu knocked a ground-rule double down the right-field line, allowing Gillaspie to score. It was ruled that the ball bounced just fair. The Tigers challenged, saying it was a foul ball, but the original call was upheld.
Dayan Viciedo hit the Sox’s third double of the inning to drive in Abreu and give the Sox a 2-1 lead. Viciedo headed home following Alexei Ramirez’s single and a throwing error by Tigers left fielder Rajai Davis. Viciedo was called out at the plate. Ventura already had lost his challenge earlier in the game, but the officials called for their own review, and the call was overturned. The Sox took a 3-1 lead.
Sanchez lasted 61/3 innings, allowing five hits and three earned runs, walking one and striking out five.
Sox reliever Ronald Belisario, who had thrown two scoreless innings in a victory Sunday, pitched another 12/3 scoreless innings to push the Sox into the ninth with the lead.