DETROIT—Normally, Bartolo Colon's approach to pitching is about as direct as it gets.
He used a little more guile Sunday against the worst offense in the majors.
Colon struck out a season-high nine in seven innings, earning his first victory for the White Sox with a 3-2 win over the Detroit Tigers.
"He's pitching now, not just sitting on 95-98 mph fastballs," Chicago manager Jerry Manuel said. "When he's doing that and he's making good pitches with his slider and changeup, he can get some early outs and he can get some strikeouts. I'll take that performance every time."
Colon (1-0) allowed two runs on six hits and two walks. The Tigers have scored only 20 runs in starting the season 1-10.
"Usually, he comes right at you with his fastball, but today he threw a lot of sliders and mixed things up more than he normally does," Detroit's Craig Paquette said. "I saw eight pitches in my first at-bat, and I think there were five sliders, a changeup and only two fastballs."
The White Sox have won seven of nine, including five victories over Detroit. The Tigers, who started 0-11 in 2002, beat Chicago 4-3 Saturday for their only win of the season.
Damaso Marte and Billy Koch each pitched a scoreless inning of relief, with Koch earning his second save. Koch walked Carlos Pena to start the ninth, but Paquette grounded into a double play and Matt Walbeck flied out.
"I just made a good enough pitch, had a little bit of sink on it, so we'd get it on the ground," Koch said. "Jose (Valentin) was able to get up the middle and turn it, which is fortunate for us."
A 20-game winner last year, Colon was acquired during the offseason in a three-team trade that also involved the Montreal Expos and New York Yankees. He lowered his ERA to 3.32 in three starts with Chicago.
"Obviously, when you are struggling offensively like we are, that is one of the last guys you want to see," rookie Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. "He's one of the few legitimate big-time pitchers in baseball and he shut us down today. On some days, it is a matter of not swinging the bat well, but this was more about the pitcher."
Making his third career start, Gary Knotts (0-1) gave up three runs -- two earned -- on seven hits in seven innings. He struck out five and walked one. Knotts has a 2.19 ERA in two starts this year.
"In spring training, Gary was on the verge of not making this team, but he has pitched very well in his two starts up here," Trammell said. "He's been good enough to win both times."
Chicago took a 1-0 lead in the third. With one out, Sandy Alomar grounded to third base, but Dmitri Young's throw pulled Pena off the bag at first for an error. D'Angelo Jimenez struck out, but Valentin's single moved Alomar to third and Magglio Ordonez followed with an RBI single to left.
Jimenez led off the sixth with a triple past a sliding Hiram Bocachica in center field, but Valentin grounded out and second baseman Ramon Santiago and shortstop Shane Halter made back-to-back leaping catches to rob Ordonez and Paul Konerko, respectively.
The White Sox, though, added two runs in the seventh.
Brian Daubach walked to lead off the inning and went to third on Carlos Lee's single. Armando Rios followed with an RBI single. Joe Crede lined a sacrifice fly to right and Lee scored when catcher Brandon Inge dropped the ball after a collision at the plate.
"He hit my glove just as I was about to catch the ball," Inge said. "It jarred me a little, but I'm fine. He just knocked my hand away as the ball was entering my glove."
Detroit put only one runner in scoring position through the first six innings, but broke through for two runs in the seventh.
Dean Palmer led off with a walk, went to second on Paquette's one-out single and third on a wild pitch. He scored on pinch-hitter Eric Munson's RBI groundout. Santiago followed with a line single to right, scoring Paquette.
Notes: Young was making his first start of the season at third base. His last appearance at third was on April 7, 2002, against Cleveland. ... Colon got seven of his nine outs with strikeouts during one stretch between the second and fifth innings. ... Santiago's fifth-inning single extended his hitting streak to six games. ... Attendance was just 12,808. ... Santiago and Munson lead the Tigers with four RBIs. Ordonez leads Chicago with 10. ... The White Sox stranded 31 runners in the three-game series.