DETROIT — Despite their early season struggles, the players who make up the middle of the Chicago White Sox batting order knew what they could do.
They showed it on Saturday.
Jose Abreu hit a grand slam, Adam LaRoche added a three-run homer and four RBIs, and the White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 12-3.
Chicago, which set a season high for runs, scored 11 runs in the third and fourth innings combined and collected a season-high 17 hits for the game. Abreu and LaRoche had three hits apiece, and Melky Cabrera matched a career high with four hits and knocked in two runs.
"Everybody knows what we are capable of doing. It was a good day for us," Abreu said through an interpreter. "I hope we can keep this momentum for the next one. Not saying that we can do again what we did today, but we can do damage."
Abreu came into the game hitting .206 with two home runs and two RBIs, LaRoche .179 with two homers and four RBIs and Melky Cabrera .162 with zeroes.
"I thought those guys proved how much they trust in having good at-bats, a lot of competitive at-bats today," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "Just some big at-bats in there with guys on base that added up to a pretty nice game."
J.D. Martinez homered for Detroit, which lost for the second time in 11 games this season.
The Tigers have only scored eight runs in their last four games. They won the previous three with a total of five runs.
"We did put it together early," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said. "Really when you're going through offensive lows in terms of scoring runs like we have and you're still able to walk away with victories, I think that's a huge plus."
Chris Sale (2-0) cruised to the win, allowing two runs on four hits in six innings, walking one and striking out six. Zach Putnam pitched an inning and Kyle Drabek the final two.
"(That many runs) really takes the pressure off," Sale said. "You still have to go out there and go through it but it makes a difference."
Anibal Sanchez (1-2) gave up nine runs on nine hits in 3 1/3 innings.
Chicago scored four runs in the third to take a 4-1 lead.
The big blow was LaRoche's three-run homer, which broke a 1-all tie. LaRoche lined Sanchez's 2-1 pitch over the right-field fence, down the line, for his third home run.
The White Sox added seven more in the fourth to make it 11-1.
Abreu's second career grand slam, and third homer of the season, sent Sanchez to the showers and followed Melky Cabrera's run-scoring single. Conor Gillespie singled in a run and Alexei Ramirez's sacrifice fly completed the scoring in the inning.
Martinez led off the bottom of the fourth with his fifth home run for an 11-2 score.
Chicago added a run in the fifth on LaRoche's RBI double.
Nick Castellanos singled in a run for the Tigers in the eighth.
Detroit took a 1-0 lead in the first on Miguel Cabrera's one-out RBI single. Saturday was his 32nd birthday.
Detroit's Justin Verlander won't pick up a baseball until Sunday after he was more sore than expected two days after throwing 80 pitches. The veteran right-hander is on the disabled list with a right triceps strain. "It wasn't an injury setback, he's just more sore than what we expected," Ausmus said before Saturday's game.
Right-hander Shane Greene (2-0) will be Detroit's starter in Sunday's series finale (1:08 p.m.) and rubber game. He hasn't allowed a run in 16 innings his first two starts as a Tiger and has only surrendered seven hits. Left-hander Jose Quintana (1-0, 4.09) will start for Chicago.