DETROIT -- One day after J.D. Martinez returned from the disabled list with a go-ahead home run, Jordan Zimmermann didn't have nearly the same impact for the Tigers in his comeback. The White Sox pounced on the veteran right-hander for six runs over 1 2/3 innings and ended Detroit's eight-game winning streak with a 6-3 victory on Thursday afternoon at Comerica Park.
The Tigers' loss, combined with an Indians win over the Twins earlier in the day, halted Detroit's momentum in the AL Central race, restoring Cleveland's division lead to three games.
Zimmermann (9-5), making his first Major League start since June 30 due to a right neck strain, looked out of form, retiring just five of the 14 batters he faced with a fastball in the low 90s and secondary pitches that lacked their usual sharpness. He reported an issue with his right lat, different from the neck injury, but he tried to pitch through it. The White Sox took advantage with a five-run second inning, starting with former Tiger Avisail Garcia's third homer of the series and continuing with Jose Abreu's two-run blast.
"At the beginning of the game, everything was kind of going up -- up and in to a righty, up and away to a lefty," Tigers catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. "That obviously is from not being able to reach out there, extend out and get on top of the ball."
Detroit's bullpen limited the damage to that, but the half-dozen runs gave Jose Quintana (9-8) enough support to attack Tigers hitters for 7 1/3 quality innings despite two solo homers. Quintana picked up his fourth consecutive win and his first against Detroit since Aug. 31, 2014.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Abreu snaps streak: With three runs already across in the second inning, Abreu took Zimmermann deep for a two-run shot to end his day. The homer opened up a 6-1 lead for the White Sox. Abreu had not gone deep since June 23. He went 32 games and 137 plate appearances between homers.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura was pleased to see Abreu finally play long ball again.
"Right now, even the last few days, we've seen the ball jumping off his bat, not chasing a lot of stuff," Ventura said. "He looks pretty comfortable at the plate, and everything that's coming off his bat is pretty solid." More >
Kinsler connects: The Tigers answered Chicago's first-inning run four pitches into Quintana's outing, when Ian Kinsler turned on a breaking ball and sent it out to left for his 21st home run of the season. It marked Kinsler's fifth leadoff homer this year and the 37th of his career, the latter tying Ichiro Suzuki for seventh in Major League history.
"[Quintana] doesn't throw many pitches over the middle of the plate. He's mostly on the corner, and it was no exception today," Kinsler said. "For myself, I just got one over the middle -- basically right down the middle."
Quintana bends, doesn't break: After surrendering a leadoff homer in the first, Quintana settled into a groove to cruise through the sixth inning. Quintana allowed three straight singles to begin the seventh inning as the Tigers cut the deficit to 6-2. He then gathered himself after a mound visit from Ventura and settled down to get three straight outs and escape any further damage.
"After giving up the leadoff homer, it just seemed like he snapped back in," Ventura said of Quintana. "I don't know if the focus can get any higher for him, but it just seemed like he was spot-on once he gave up that homer. He was intent on seeing if he could complete this thing."
Cabrera rejoins 25-homer club:Miguel Cabrera posted 11 consecutive seasons with at least 25 home runs before falling to 18 last year. His eighth-inning solo homer off Quintana put him back in the club. Cabrera also became the fourth active player with 12 or more 25-homer seasons, joining Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz and Albert Pujols.
"It would be a little bit of a gut punch, but I don't think it would knock us to the mat." -- Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, on the possibility of Zimmermann returning to the disabled list
For the second time this series, the White Sox challenged a foul ball called on a pitch that struck both a batter and his bat. This time, replay showed that Zimmermann's fourth pitch of the game hit Tim Anderson first, overturning the initial call after a 34-second review. Anderson left the game at the end of the inning with a bruised left hand and is day to day. More >
WHAT'S NEXT White Sox: Chicago opens a short three-game homestand with the Orioles. Miguel Gonzalez (2-5, 4.06 ERA) takes the mound at 7:10 p.m. CT on Friday to face his former club. Gonzalez is coming off a month of July in which he posted a 2.50 ERA and went six innings or deeper in each of his six starts.
Tigers:Justin Verlander (11-6, 3.54 ERA) will face old friend and former teammate Curtis Granderson when the Mets come to town for a 7:10 p.m. ET Friday matchup to open a three-game weekend series at Comerica Park. Noah Syndergaard (9-5, 2.48 ERA) is scheduled to start for New York.