Alejandro De Aza returned to the majors Wednesday and it sure looks as if he plans on staying for a while.De Aza hit a two-run homer in his first at-bat of the season and the White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 2-1 on Wednesday.De Aza, who was called up earlier in the day to fill a roster spot opened by a trade, connected against Max Scherzer (11-6) in the second, hitting an 0-2 pitch over the wall in right for his first major league homer. Austin Jackson hit a leadoff homer in the seventh but that was it for Detroit against John Danks (4-8) and two relievers.Danks (4-8), who left after Jackson’s fifth homer, matched a career high with 10 strikeouts while improving to 4-0 with a sparkling 0.98 ERA in his last six starts. The left-hander allowed six hits and walked three.Chris Sale replaced Danks and worked 2 2/3 perfect innings before Sergio Santos got the last out for his 21st save in 24 chances.Scherzer (11-6) struck out eight in six innings, yielding six hits and four walks. The 6-foot-3 right-hander is 1-2 in three starts against the White Sox this season despite a 1.64 ERA.The White Sox closed within 3 1/2 games of Detroit in the AL Central, a threshold the Sox have reached, but not surpassed, since mid-April. The Tigers fell to 23-13 against AL Central opponents, still the best intradivision record in the league.Alexei Ramirez had a one-out walk ahead of De Aza’s homer in his 195th at-bat in the majors. The speedy outfielder had previous stints with the White Sox and Florida Marlins.De Aza was called up from Triple-A Charlotte after the White Sox traded starting pitcher Edwin Jackson and utilityman Mark Teahen to the Toronto Blue Jays for reliever Jason Frasor and pitching prospect Zach Stewart(The Blue Jays in turn sent Jackson as well as former Cub Corey Pastterson,among others,to the Cardinals). DeAza received a hearty welcome back in the dugout after his homer.White Sox general manager Kenny Williams said De Aza will get regular playing time in place of Alex Rios, who is hitting .208. Williams said “Rios is going to have to take a back seat now.” Rios hasn’t homered since June 19.Danks used all those strikeouts to work out of several jams.The Tigers loaded the bases with one out in the third, but Danks struck out Ryan Raburn and got Magglio Ordonez to bounce into a force play.Danks walked Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez with none out in the fourth, then struck out Jhonny Peralta, Carlos Guillen and Wilson Betemit in order to end the inning, all swinging.Danks struck out Ordonez with two runners on in the fifth. Ordonez entered the game hitting .577 (15 for 26) career against Danks.The White Sox just missed adding to their lead in the seventh.Adam Dunn drew a one-out walk to load the bases for Carlos Quentin, who missed a grand slam by a few feet, his drive hooking outside the foul pole in left. He drove the next pitch down the right-field line, but it curled into the seats.Quentin finally flied out to shallow left and Juan Pierre was cut down at the plate by left fielder Raburn.The Sox are off Thursday before facing a critical seven-game stretch against the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees at U.S. Cellular Field.Danks said the White Sox (51-52) are well positioned despite struggling for much of the season.
NOTES—Danks also struck out 10 against Texas on May 9, 2009….Dunn reached base four times in a game for the first time since May 31. He remained 2 for 68 against left-handers after walking against Phil Coke in the seventh….The Tigers concluded a seven-game road trip and now return home to begin a seven-game homestand on Thursday against the Angels. Detroit went 4-3 on the trip….The Sox improved to 3-7 in its last 10 games against Detroit at home….Paul Konerko struck out three times for second time this season and first time since April 23…..Despite the loss, the Tigers have won 15 of their last 21 games against the White Sox