Axelrod (4-10, 5.72 ERA) went 2 2/3 innings and allowed seven earned runs on 10 hits as the Sox fell 12-5 to the American league Central leaders.
Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer (20-3, 3.00 ERA) earned his 20th victory of the season, allowing just three runs on six hits in six innings.
The Tigers responded in the bottom half of the inning when Andy Dirks hit a single with the bases for two runs. Austin Jackson hit a single in the second and Torii Hunter drove him in with double for a 3-1 Tigers lead.
Singles by Alex Avila, Hunter, and Cabrera added four more Tigers runs in the third to make it 7-1.
Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia hit a two-run home run in the fourth against his former team to cut the Tigers lead 7-3.
Gillaspie and Garcia hit triples in the Sox’s two-run eighth to cut the Tiger lead to 12-5.