CHICAGO — Slugger Jose Abreu looks like his old self again, which is good news for the Chicago White Sox, even if it’s a bit too late.
Abreu had three more hits, Avisail Garcia hit a go-ahead single against his former team in a four-run eighth inning and the White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 7-4 on Wednesday.
The Tigers wasted a chance to move into a tie with Baltimore for the second wild card. The teams begin a three-game series Friday in Detroit.
Abreu raised his batting average to .298, the highest it had been since April 9. The first baseman has hit .342 since the All-Streak break, 65 points better than in the first half.
“(The coaches) have worked with me on the right approach and corrected some things in my offense that I hadn’t been doing before,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “You work hard and make adjustments, and the results, you can find them at the end of the day.”
Abreu led off the eighth with a single for his third hit and scored on Justin Morneau’s double against Shane Greene (3-4). After Todd Frazier grounded out, Garcia singled to right-center. Tyler Saladino and Adam Eaton added RBI singles, and Chicago took two out of three in the series to move to 67-72.
“He’s swinging (the bat) good,” said manager Robin Ventura of Abreu. “You can tell. He’s patient as well. That’s the biggest thing. When he’s not swinging at everything and is willing to take a walk, it just changes the at-bat for the pitcher.”
Chris Beck (2-1) got four outs in relief before David Robertson worked a shaky ninth for his 35th save and second in two days.
J.D. Martinez walked and Justin Upton singled to lead off the ninth before Robertson, who has seven blown saves, retired the next three batters.
The start was delayed 40 minutes for a threat of thunderstorms that never arrived on a steamy day with the heat index approaching 100 degrees.
Upton hit an early three-run homer and Jose Iglesias had an RBI single in the seventh that put Detroit ahead 4-3. The Tigers’ bullpen faltered in its second straight loss.
In what could be his last start in the Tigers’ rotation, Anibal Sanchez allowed three runs and eight hits over five innings. Jordan Zimmermann’s return from injury could move him to the bullpen.
White Sox starter Jose Quintana struck out Victor Martinez and Upton to start the seventh, but then gave up a walk and two hits before being lifted after his 116th pitch. He allowed four runs and eight hits and struck out seven.
“Would have been nice to take this one today and take four out of six,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said of the road trip. “But we’ll go 3-3 and we’ve got a big series with Baltimore coming up.”
Garcia, signed by the Tigers as an amateur free agent in 2007, spent parts of two seasons with Detroit before being traded to the White Sox in 2013. Garcia has 36 RBIs against Detroit, his most vs. any opponent.
Tigers 3B Nick Castellanos, on the disabled list since Aug. 7 with a broken left hand, plans to start swinging a bat this week. He intends to return this season.
“It’s getting through as much discomfort as I can and progressing so when my bone is healed, I’m ready to play,” Castellanos said.
Tigers: 2B Ian Kinsler applied glue to his injured fingernail and returned earlier than Ausmus expected. Kinsler went 1 for 4 and was picked off first. … DH Victor Martinez, who has had surgery on both knees, stayed in despite limping off after he was thrown out at second base in the fourth. “He’s always going to have issues with the knees,” Ausmus said. “He just tweaked it a little bit on the slide.”
White Sox: RHP James Shields (back) threw a bullpen session. He hopes to start Saturday.
Tigers: RHP Michael Fulmer (10-6, 2.77 ERA) is set to start the opener Friday night against Baltimore RHP Kevin Gausman (7-10, 3.58).
White Sox: The 10-game homestand continues Friday night with LHP Carlos Rodon (6-8, 3.90) facing Kansas City RHP Yordano Ventura (10-9, 4.22).