CHICAGO -- Alfredo Simon allowed just one earned run over eight innings and propelled the Tigers to a 6-4 victory and a weekend series win over the White Sox before 29,059 at U.S. Cellular Field. Simon fanned seven, walked two and retired the last 12 he faced after Adam Eaton's leadoff double in the fifth. Joakim Soria tossed a scoreless ninth to earn his 16th save.
The White Sox held a 4-1 advantage after three innings thanks to an Avisail Garcia three-run homer in the first, which followed a Miguel Cabrera fielding error to keep the inning alive. But the Tigers chipped away off Jeff Samardzija, scoring once in the fourth before taking control with a three-run sixth. Those three came courtesy of Yoenis Cespedes' solo shot and J.D. Martinez's two-run blast to straightaway center on the first pitch he faced.
"You certainly don't want to see an error lead to a three-run home run, but it's a team game," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "Despite the fact that Simon gave up that home run, he hung around for eight innings after that and kept them scoring only one run the rest of the way."
Samardzija lasted 7 1/3 innings, yielding all six runs. He struck out five and walked one, allowing 10 hits. Over his last two starts, Samardzija has surrendered 15 runs on 22 hits in 12 1/3 innings. He allowed at least five runs in a start for the fifth time this season.
"You've got to keep attacking them and mixing your speeds. You can't take a deep breath," Samardzija said. "They showed what they can do. They put a couple over the fence. That was the difference. We keep those in the park, get a couple outs there, it's a different game. That's the story -- two homers."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Garcia gets them going: The White Sox right fielder took advantage of a strong crosswind going from right to left when he connected on a three-run blast off Simon. Garcia's sixth homer came after a Jose Abreu single and Cabrera's error on Adam LaRoche's grounder.
Two-out thunder: Samardzija appeared to avoid trouble in the sixth when he got Cabrera to hit into a 6-4-3 double to erase a leadoff hit. But two of the next three batters homered, and suddenly Detroit had a 5-4 lead. Cespedes started things with a solo shot to right field. Following a base hit by Tyler Collins, Martinez provided the big blow with the game-turning two-run blast. More >
"The last two days we've scored runs with two outs, which we haven't done in recent times," Ausmus said.
Helping hand: With one out in the seventh, Jose Iglesias lined a shot to right that Garcia slightly misplayed and looked destined to go over his head for extra bases. But Garcia got his glove on the ball with an outstretched attempt, tipped it in the air and then caught it on the run for out No. 2.
Insurance policy: Leading by one, the Tigers pushed across a run in the eighth inning for a 6-4 lead. Ian Kinsler doubled, advanced to third on a groundout by Cabrera and scored on a Cespedes single.
"We have to be better and probably more selective," -- White Sox manager Robin Ventura, on his offense
"I don't know if we're over the hump, but it feels a lot better than it did a few days ago." -- Ausmus, on winning two straight following an eight-game losing streak
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS White Sox win the first: It's not rare for the White Sox to give up runs in the first inning this season, but is rare for them to outscore their opponent. Samardzija surrendered a run in the first -- he leads the Majors with 15 earned runs allowed in the opening stanza -- but three runs by the White Sox cut their first-inning deficit to 47-18 this season. The White Sox also scored in the first and second inning of the same game for the first time in 2015. More >
WHAT'S NEXT Tigers: Following a day off on Monday, the Tigers return home to begin a two-game Interleague set against the Cubs on Tuesday. Right-hander Anibal Sanchez (3-7, 5.69 ERA) goes in the opener against left-hander Jon Lester (4-4, 3.86 ERA) with a 7:08 p.m. ET first pitch.
White Sox: The White Sox begin a three-game set with the American League West-leading Astros on Monday, with a first pitch of 7:10 p.m. CT at U.S. Cellular Field. Chris Sale takes the mound for the South Siders, carrying with him a 1.40 ERA and 53 strikeouts over his last 38 2/3 innings, covering five starts.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast. John Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.