DETROIT (AP) - Jhonny Peralta's first home run of the season was worth the wait.
Peralta hit a two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting the Detroit Tigers to a 5-4 win over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night. The Tigers trailed by a run when Alex Avila hit a one-out single, and Peralta ended it with a homer to right-center.
``It's the best moment you can feel,' Peralta said. ``The first home run this year - and walk-off. It's not bad, huh?'
Chicago led 4-2 after Gordon Beckham's tiebreaking two-run shot in the seventh, but Detroit got a run back in the eighth on an RBI single by Miguel Cabrera. Matt Thornton (1-1) got the last out of the eighth but gave up the winning homer to Peralta.
The White Sox are moving Chris Sale from the rotation back to the bullpen to be their closer, but he's not expected to pitch again until next week.
``With everything going on today, we looked at the way they were lining up and went with Matt,' Chicago manager Robin Ventura said.
Jose Valverde (2-0) pitched the top of the ninth for the win.
Chicago starter Jake Peavy allowed three runs and seven hits in 7 2-3 innings, but the bullpen couldn't hold the lead for him.
Detroit outfielder Delmon Young was reinstated Friday from the restricted list following a seven-day suspension, but he didn't play. Young was arrested last week and accused of yelling anti-Semitic epithets in New York.
The Tigers didn't need him. Avila hit his fourth homer of the year for Detroit, and Peralta's opposite-field shot gave the Tigers the victory.
``I didn't hit it too much to right field last year, so this year it feels really good for me to hit the ball to right field,' Peralta said. ``I don't worry about the homer. I try to hit the ball, make good contact. ... When you make good contact, the ball goes no matter what.'
Beckham had three hits for the White Sox.
Detroit rookie Drew Smyly allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings. He struck out seven.
``I'm just happy I'm staying consistent. It's a long, long season,' Smyly said. ``I feel like all my pitches pretty much, except my changeup - I've been working on that a lot - but they've been right where I want them. I can throw them for strikes, I can throw them where I want them.'
Smyly hadn't allowed more than a run in any of his first four starts, and he had a 2-1 lead after Avila's solo shot in the fourth. But Alexei Ramirez led off the sixth with a triple and scored on Adam Dunn's sacrifice fly to tie it.
Octavio Dotel retired the first two Chicago hitters in the seventh in short order, but Brent Morel beat out a slow grounder for an infield single, and Beckham's second homer of the year made it 4-2.
Peavy, coming off back-to-back complete games, fell four outs short this time. He allowed an RBI single to Cabrera with his 122nd and final pitch, and Thornton came on and got Prince Fielder on a grounder to the mound, with part of the Detroit slugger's broken bat hitting the screen behind the plate.
``I hate that I couldn't get out of that inning, because that would have made it easier for Matt,' Peavy said.
The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the second on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Raburn. Chicago answered in the third with an RBI double from Beckham.
NOTES: Detroit RHP Doug Fister is expected to start Monday at Seattle after missing a month with a left side strain. Fister left his first start of the season April 7 in the fourth inning. ... Paul Konerko had two hits, giving him sole possession of fourth place on Chicago's career list with 2,009 - two more than Eddie Collins. ... Tigers RHP Max Scherzer (1-3) faces Chicago RHP Gavin Floyd (2-3) on Saturday.
The Associated Press News Service
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