DETROIT (AP) — The Chicago White Sox won’t ever be thrilled about a 3-4 road trip.
Yet after seven games against two of baseball’s best teams, and with injuries riddling the roster, they know things could have been a lot worse.
“You want to win every series, and we didn’t win either of them, so we’re not satisfied with what we did,” said Adam Dunn, who homered in a 7-4 loss to Detroit on Thursday. “But under the circumstances, we did play pretty well.”
The White Sox were minus eight players for some or all of the road trip, including ace Chris Sale, who missed his start in Detroit before going on the disabled list. Chicago was able to split the four games in Detroit after losing two of three in Texas.
“Obviously, that’s not an ideal road trip,” manager Robin Ventura said. “But given where we are, and how we are feeling, it isn’t bad.”
Miguel Cabrera drove in three runs and Max Scherzer struck out 10 to lead the Tigers.
Cabrera hit a pair of two-out singles for his RBIs. Rajai Davis homered, doubled, singled and drove in two runs.
Scherzer (2-1) allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings, and was pulled with a high pitch count.
Joe Nathan pitched the ninth for his fourth save in six tries. He got the final two outs on a strikeout where Jose Abreu was called for interfering with catcher Bryan Holaday’s throw to second base on a stolen-base attempt.
Ventura asked plate umpire Dan Iassogna for an explanation, but didn’t argue the call.
“It was just interference,” Ventura said.
Jose Quintana (1-1) allowed three runs in six innings.
Tigers reliever Al Alburquerque pitched the seventh, but Joba Chamberlain allowed two runs in the eighth to let Chicago pull within one. Detroit scored twice in the bottom half.
The teams traded runs in the second, with Dunn hitting a long homer over the scoreboard in right-center field before the Tigers answered with Austin Jackson’s triple and Nick Castellanos’ single.
Detroit went ahead in the third when Ian Kinsler singled, advanced on a wild pitch and scored as Cabrera slapped an outside pitch the other way for a single.
“Facing that guy in that situation is one of the least appealing situations in baseball,” Ventura said. “He can beat you with a grounder into the hole or he can hit one 500 feet. That’s tough to stop.”
Chicago scored just once in the first five innings, striking out nine times, but forced Scherzer’s pitch count up to 96, meaning that Detroit would need multiple innings from its struggling bullpen.
Davis made it 3-1 in the fifth with his second homer of the season, a shot to left that cleared the Tigers bullpen.
Dayan Viciedo left off the White Sox sixth with a triple when Torii Hunter lost a fly ball in the sun. Alexei Ramirez followed with a sacrifice fly to cut Detroit’s lead to one run on Scherzer’s 102nd pitch.
Ramirez, who made several outstanding defensive plays at shortstop, prevented a run with a diving stop on Davis’ grounder in the seventh. It went for an infield hit, loading the bases with one out, but Maikel Cleto got Kinsler to pop out.
Daniel Webb came in and Cabrera bounced his second pitch up the middle for a two-run single.
The White Sox started the eighth with three hits off Chamberlain, including an RBI single by Ramirez, and a throwing error by Holaday allowed a second run to score.
Holaday, though, had an RBI single in the bottom of the inning, and Davis followed with a two-out double to make it 7-4.
NOTES: White Sox 2B Gordon Beckham made his season debut after missing the first 22 games with a strained oblique muscle. He went 0 for 4 and struck out three times. He was called up Wednesday night from his injury-rehab assignment with Double-A Birmingham, while LHP Charlie Leesman was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte.