CHICAGO (AP) - Win or lose, Paul Konerko like what he sees in his team.
He's not the only one.
Gerald Laird homered among his three hits to back a strong outing by Rick Porcello and lead the Detroit Tigers to a 5-2 victory over the White Sox on Sunday, snapping Chicago's four-game winning streak.
Porcello (1-0) was sharp against an aggressive Chicago lineup. He allowed five hits, struck out four and didn't issue a walk in 7 2-3 innings.
``We didn't play poorly or anything, they just came out and beat us,' Konerko said. ``It's real early, but we're building good habits. Guys are throwing the ball well. Everything is clicking well, regardless of the wins and losses.
``That's the way you want to have it because that's the one thing you can control,' Konerko said.
The White Sox failed to complete their first home sweep since July 26-29, 2010, but it was their first series win at home against Detroit since June 2010.
``This is a real good team,' Tigers manager Jim Leyland said of the White Sox. ``I don't know why anybody would not pick these guys as a solid, solid contender.'
Laird homered to left against Chris Sale (1-1) leading off the third. Detroit added runs in the fifth and sixth, both runs scoring on wild pitches, and two in the ninth.
The White Sox brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but Jose Valverde struck out Dayan Viciedo to end the game.
Sale breezed through the first but struggled to command his off-speed pitches after that, racking up 102 pitches in five-plus innings. He struck out five and walked two, managing to keep the damage to a minimum.
``I felt like I had my good stuff,' Sale said. ``I just didn't use it to my advantage. I kind of babied it at times, and I just have to get the confidence to throw the pitch I need to throw and not worry about where it is.'
Prince Fielder doubled, scored and drove in a run for Detroit. Delmon Young added two hits and is batting .350 over 243 lifetime at_bats against the White Sox.
Laird also hit a wind-aided double in the fifth, then singled and scored in the ninth.
Viciedo hit his second homer for Chicago, a solo shot in the eighth. A.J. Pierzynski singled in a run in the ninth.
Eduardo Escobar singled with two outs to chase Porcello in the eighth. Reliever Joaquin Benoit then walked Alejandro De Aza before striking Brent Morel to end the threat. Morel chased a pitch in the dirt on a full count.
Adam Dunn doubled twice for Chicago. Paul Konerko doubled against Porcello and improved to 8 for 20 against the righty, who racked up 12 of his 23 outs on groundballs.
Jhonny Peralta scored on Sale's wild pitch in the fifth and Fielder came home on reliever Nate Jones' wild pitch an inning later.
The Tigers tacked on two runs against the Chicago bullpen in the ninth, on RBI singles by Ramon Santiago and Fielder.
Detroit salvaged the last game of the three-game weekend series, beating the White Sox for the 22nd time in 30 games. The Tigers have won 12 of their last 18 at U.S. Cellular Field.
After scoring 40 runs while winning five of their first six games, the Tigers scored just three runs in dropping the first two games of this series.
NOTES: Konerko has a hit in all eight of Chicago's games this season. ... Former Tigers outfielder Clete Thomas was claimed off waivers by the Minnesota Twins on Saturday. Thomas made Detroit's opening-day roster and played in three games before being designated for assignment last week. ... Brandon Inge got his first start of the season as Detroit's designated hitter. He is expected to get regular duty at second base this season, not one of the five positions he's played during his 12-year big league career.
The Associated Press News Service
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