DETROIT - Goodbye, and good riddance.
The White Sox couldn't get away from Comerica Park fast enough on Sunday night after getting swept in a three-game series that left them tied for first place with the Tigers in the American League Central.
There's something about the place that brings out the worst in the South Siders and the best in the Tigers, and you can probably start with the presence of Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera and Delmon Young.
Young's three-run homer against Chris Sale broke a tie and powered the Tigers to a 4-2 victory.
"Being the size that it is [420 feet to center field], it's different than our park,'' manager Robin Ventura said. "There have been some balls hit here [by the Sox] in the last couple of games that would be home runs in our park that you don't get here. The ones they hit would have been out of anywhere. It's just the way it goes. It's a different type of ballpark. They play very well in it.''
Verlander (13-7) pitched eight dominating innings, and Young lined a three-run homer over the left field wall against Sale to break a 1-1 tie in the sixth inning. Sale showed his frustration in the dugout after the inning because he had Young in a 1-2 hole and the slider Young hooked into the Tigers bullpen was inches off the ground.
The Sox have lost seven in a row and 18 of their last 21 games here. Before a sellout crowd of 42,192 and an ESPN2 audience, Sale could not out-pitch fellow All-Star and Cy Young candidate Verlander, although he stood to-to-toe for five innings.
After Alejandro De Aza, in his first game back from bruised ribs, homered to right field on Verlander's second pitch, Verlander gave up three more hits and struck out 11.
For the first four innings, De Aza's homer gave the Sox a rare lead in the series. Brennan Boesch tied it with a deep blast to center in the fifth.
"He's done great all year leading off, getting in scoring position,'' Ventura said before the game. "He does have the ability to hit home runs. More of what he's done is getting on, creating havoc, moving around the bases. He wears on pitchers might get a guy an extra pitch here and there that they don't locate very well.''
Ventura knew the game would spell the difference between having a two-game lead on Labor Day or being tied for first place. The Sox open a 10-game home stand against the Twins on Monday night that concludes with four games against the Tigers next Monday through Thursday.
"I would like to be two, but again, it's not going to change how we go into tomorrow's game,'' Ventura said. "You just play today and hopefully that's good enough. If you don't win today, we are still going to come back and play hard tomorrow and show up and play.''
Ventura said the 23-year-old Sale appeared to be ready for Sunday's showdown with Verlander.
"He gets it,'' Ventura said. "The hype to it, he doesn't look any different than he does any day. If you walk by him and he's acting different then you talk to him. But he's been the same all day.''
The Sox scored a run on Dan Johnson's pinch-hit RBI single in the ninth against Jose Valverde, and Orlando Hudson lined out to deep center to end the game with the tying runs on base. Austin Jackson made a running catch.