DETROIT (AP) - Ozzie Guillen and the Chicago White Sox arrived in Detroit hoping to start a last-ditch rally for the AL Central title.
Instead, their playoff hopes are in shambles after three ugly losses to the Tigers.
Miguel Cabrera homered and drove in four runs, and Detroit finished off its sweep in emphatic fashion, routing the White Sox 18-2 on Sunday night.
``At the end of the game, you are almost laughing because we couldn't do anything to stop them,' said Guillen, Chicago's manager. ``Just have to move on.'
Max Scherzer (14-8) allowed five hits over seven scoreless innings, and Alex Avila scored a career-high four hits for Detroit, which leads the AL Central by 6 1/2 games heading into a three-game series at second-place Cleveland. Chicago is 8 1/2 back.
Mark Buehrle (11-7) allowed seven earned runs in 3 1-3 innings.
The Tigers trailed 8-1 in the fifth Saturday before rallying to win 9-8. They scored 26 consecutive runs and led 18-0 Sunday when the White Sox finally scored two in the ninth.
``We needed to come here and make a statement. We had to win two of three, if not sweep them, and that's the furthest thing from what actually happened,' Buehrle said. ``We're not mathematically eliminated, but a smart man isn't going to like our chances right now. We're not going to give up, but we're in big trouble.'
It was the second-biggest blowout in the major leagues this season, according to STATS, LLC. Cleveland beat Kansas City 19-1 on May 16.
Cabrera's two-run homer into the bushes behind the center-field wall highlighted a seven-run sixth inning.
Although Justin Verlander is making a bid for the Cy Young Award, the depth of Detroit's rotation has been an issue. Scherzer allowed seven runs in three innings against Kansas City on Monday, but he was much sharper against Chicago, striking out the side in the third and facing the minimum 12 hitters through the first four innings.
Not that Detroit needed a dominant pitching performance.
Austin Jackson led off with a double in the bottom of the first and eventually scored on Victor Martinez's single. The Tigers scored three runs in the third. Martinez and Avila hit RBI singles, and when Jhonny Peralta hit a grounder to short for a potential inning-ending double play, second baseman Gordon Beckham's throw to first skipped away for an error, allowing Martinez to score.
The White Sox compounded their poor pitching by making three errors on the night.
Delmon Young made it 5-0 with an RBI single in the fourth, and Cabrera's double to left-center brought home two more runs and ended Buehrle's night. It was his shortest outing since June 6, 2010, when he pitched three innings against the Indians.
Reliever Addison Reed, making his major league debut, allowed RBI singles by Avila and Peralta later in the fourth to make it 9-0.
Guillen said before the game he wants to be in Chicago next year. He's signed through 2012 with the White Sox.
``All my desire, everything, is to be in Chicago,' he said. ``I don't know why people think I want to leave.'
No matter what happens, he'll probably want to forget this game.
With the score out of hand, both teams began substituting liberally, although Guillen - trying to preserve pitchers for a Monday doubleheader at Minnesota - left right-hander Shane Lindsay out on the mound for the entire sixth inning. Lindsay, whose mother managed to travel from Australia on short notice to see her son's major league debut Friday night, allowed seven runs and eight hits in his only inning of work Sunday.
Peralta hit a two-run double, Brandon Inge added an RBI single, pinch-hitter Andy Dirks hit a two-run single, and Cabrera made it 16-0 with a towering, 425-foot homer, his 26th of the year.
``I didn't want to leave the kid out there - no one wants to see that - but we couldn't do anything with a doubleheader tomorrow,' Guillen said. ``That was hard for me to see and hard for everyone.'
Dirks added a two-run homer in the eighth.
``It's almost a little surreal at times when you're scoring that many runs,' Dirks said. ``At the same time, it's just one game. It doesn't matter if you win by two or you win by 20.'
NOTES: Guillen said before the game OF Carlos Quentin (sprained left shoulder) may not return any time soon. ... Guillen went about halfway to second base in the second inning after Alex Rios was called out stealing, apparently ready to argue the call. Then he seemed to change his mind and went back to the dugout. ... Both teams face quick turnarounds for day games Monday. Detroit is at Cleveland, and Chicago plays its doubleheader at Minnesota. The White Sox will send Philip Humber (8-8) and Zach Stewart (1-2) to the mound against Minnesota's Anthony Swarzak (3-5) and Scott Diamond (1-2).
The Associated Press News Service
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