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CHICAGO (AP) — The White Sox needed a win after a lousy road trip, and Jeff Samardzija wanted the ball. That last start in an empty ballpark had stayed with him for days, and he was ready to put it behind him.
Samardzija pitched seven effective innings, and Chicago snapped a five-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night.
"We just needed to regroup and understand that we have a great team here and we just need to go out and do what we do," Samardzija said. "We came out and played a strong game."
Back at home after a trying week, the White Sox chased Shane Greene in the third inning of their first win in nine days. Two of their three games in Baltimore were postponed due to riots near Camden Yards, and they were swept in a four-game series at Minnesota.
Samardzija (2-2) allowed a run in each of the first two innings, and then pitched four-hit ball for the rest of his outing. The right-hander struck out seven and walked one in his first game since he took the loss for a rocky five innings in an 8-2 loss to the Orioles last Wednesday that was closed to the public due to the unrest.
"That last start stuck with me for a few days. It really hurt, I wasn't happy with it and that's not me," he said. "I wanted to come out and get back to normal."
Alex Avila homered for Detroit, and Ian Kinsler had an RBI single. Greene (3-2) was charged with five runs and five hits in 2 2-3 innings.
"We hit some balls pretty hard that got caught," manager Brad Ausmus said. "Sometimes, you lose, sometimes you beat yourself, sometimes they beat you and tonight, they just beat us."
Avila's two-out drive in the second went off the glove of a leaping Melky Cabrera at the wall in left, giving the Tigers a 2-1 lead. But Chicago went ahead to stay with four runs in the third.
With one out and a runner on second, Greene issued three consecutive walks to force home a run. Avisail Garcia had a run-scoring fielder's choice, and Conor Gillaspie drove Greene's last pitch of the night into the gap in right-center for a two-run triple.
Detroit had runners on the corners for Miguel Cabrera in the fifth, but Samardzija fanned the feared slugger to end the inning. He wiggled out of another jam in the seventh, shaking off a comebacker off his right arm in time to throw out Kinsler for the final out.
"They got an X-ray on him. It got him in the arm, but they said right now everything's good," manager Robin Ventura said. "It was just a good night for him. He picked us up big."
Zach Duke pitched the eighth and David Robertson finished for his fourth save in four chances. It was Robertson's first save opportunity since he closed out Chicago's previous victory, a 5-3 win against Kansas City on April 26.
Greene walked four and struck out one. The right-hander has pitched just 11 innings over his last three starts.
"This isn't the first time this has ever happened to anybody and it probably won't be the last time," Greene said. "So I've got to keep working - it's a long season. I believe in myself, I believe in the process and we'll get 'em next time."
The White Sox committed three more errors. They have seven in their last two games and 20 on the season.
"You have to be able to clean it up to win consistently," Ventura said. "That's never going to change. No team stays that consistent if you can't clean up your defense."
Tigers: SS Jose Iglesias was out of the lineup after he left Sunday's 6-4 win at Kansas City with left groin tightness. Manager Brad Ausmus said he planned to play him, but decided to give him another day because of the wet conditions at U.S. Cellular Field. ... Ausmus said RHP Bruce Rondon (bicipital tendinitis) will return to Detroit on Friday to continue his rehab.
White Sox: CF Adam Eaton returned to the lineup after he missed three games due to an illness. ... Reliever Matt Albers had surgery last week on his broken right pinkie. The operation changes the timeline for Albers' return to six to eight weeks. He got hurt when Chicago brawled with Kansas City on April 23.
Tigers RHP Alfredo Simon (4-1, 3.13 ERA) and White Sox LHP Chris Sale (2-1, 5.32 ERA) face off Wednesday night. Simon won his first four starts with Detroit, and then was knocked out in the fifth inning of an 8-1 loss at Kansas City on Thursday. Sale is hoping to bounce back from a rough start at Minnesota.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap
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