DETROIT--In the third game of a four-game series, the Detroit Tigers bats came alive once again, but the Chicago White Sox decided to take some batting practice of their own at the expense of a Tigers bullpen who found the strike zone in all the wrong places.
Drew Smyly made his second start of the 2014 season and promptly gave up a two-run home run to Leury Garcia that landed in the shrubbery at dead center past the 420' mark. But he pitched the next five innings to perfection which included two 1-2-3 innings in the fifth and sixth.
Smyly made it through six innings allowing six hits, two earned runs, one walk and a home run. But he struck out seven, six of those going down swinging. Out of the 92 pitches he threw, 56 were for strikes. Considering his last outing only lasted three innings and change, it was a good night for the Tigers left-hander.
The Tigers brought out their bats to play for the second consecutive night and not only tied the game but took the lead in the fourth inning. A lead-off walk by Don Kelly and a single by Miguel Cabrera put runners on first and second and a 4-3 groundout by Victor Martinez advanced both to scoring position.
J.D. Martinez proved he was worth bringing up from Triple-A Toledo, hitting a two-run RBI single. Austin Jackson got sweet revenge for being robbed earlier in the game by the White Sox center fielder when he planted a two-run bomb into the visiting bullpen which put the Tigers ahead 4-2 in the fourth.
But Smyly's hard work was undone when Evan Reed came out to pitch in the seventh inning. He allowed two singles and walked a batter to load the bases, forcing Tigers manager Brad Ausmus to come out and ended Reed's day. Ian Krol would attempt to protect the lead.
After getting Jordan Danks to pop out harmlessly, Krol gave up a grand slam to Marcus Semien who peppered it right into the Tigers bullpen. The Tigers ended the inning trailing 6-4 as an indirect result of the wave that had been going on when Semian tattooed the ball for his first career grand slam.
Krol's night was done, and Justin Miller took over for the Tigers in the eighth inning. He struck out Jose Abreu in swinging fashion, going down for the third time after his first-inning home run. Dayan Viciedo popped out harmlessly for the second out, but Konerko doubled to left field to keep the inning going.
Konerko's eighth-inning double was number 3,950 and set the White Sox career total bases record. Alexei Ramirez came to bat but Miller made quick work of him and got him to ground out on a 6-3 play to end the eighth.
The Tigers gave a rousing rally cry when Victor Martinez hit a lead-off single, his 1,500th career hit. Austin Jackson walked and Nick Castellanos flew out to right field which advanced the runner. But a line drive directly into the glove of the first baseman by Alex Avila on a 3-0 count ended the Tigers' hopes of a walk-off victory.
Your final score is White Sox 6, Tigers 4. The unhappy totals include 1 antacid, 2 aspirin, 3 drinks and 4 band aids from kicking the wall— Bless You Boys (@blessyouboys) April 24, 2014
Thursday means the end of both the four-game series and the Tigers' 10-day home stand. The pitching matchup has White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana (1-1, 3,75 ERA) taking on Max Scherzer (1-1, 2.33 ERA).
Quintana is coming off his first bad outing of 2014, allowing five runs on nine hits, while striking out one and walking two over five innings in a 6-3 loss to the Rangers. Scherzer gave up a lead-off home run, then proceeded to shut down the Angels to earn the win in a 5-2 Tigers victory. Scherzer tossed seven innings, allowing just three hits while striking out nine.
Getaway day first pitch at Comerica Park is scheduled for 1:08 PM.
Note from Al: I was tied up with Twitter, so this was joint recap effort with Catherine. I much appreciate her help tonight!
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH:
Drew Smyly: Looked shaky early, then settled in for a solid game - six innings, two runs, seven strikeouts. I'll will take that from my fifth starter. Every. Damn. Time.
J.D. Martinez: Doesn't look like he plans on going back to Toledo any time soon. Martinez singled in two runs and almost tied the game in the ninth with a 410-foot fly ball to the wrong part of Comerica. That fly ball is a game-tying home run at the Astros' bandbox, but not at Comerica Park.
Austin Jackson: Two-run bombs will get you a ROAR every time. Jackson is now hitting .310/.380/.517. But there was one play...
Danks robs Austin Jackson of a hit by doing something AJax doesn't, dive. Irony is thick tonight.— Bless You Boys (@blessyouboys) April 23, 2014
Justin Miller: The rookie tossed two shutout innings, extinguishing what had been a bullpen dumpster fire.
Justin Miller throws 2 shutout innings. Shunned by rest of bullpen., is made to sit in the corner to think about what he did wrong.— Bless You Boys (@blessyouboys) April 24, 2014
Victor Martinez: The veteran DH had two hits, the second one the 1,500th of what has been a very, very good career.
Evan Reed: Laid the eighth-inning fuse by loading the bases with one out in the eighth.
Ian Krol. Lit the eighth-inning fuse, allowing a game-winning bomb, Marcus Semien's grand slam. The Tigers think Krol can get both left and right-handers out. He didn't tonight.
I keep saying over and over - After living thru the Roller Coaster and Papa Grande eras, I can live thru this too.— Bless You Boys (@blessyouboys) April 24, 2014
TOP 15 COMMENTERS:
|11||rock n rye||21|
|15||Naysayer N San Diego||14|
GAME 17 PLAYER OF THE GAME:
Miguel Cabrera's bat woke up with three hits and three RBIs, sending the AL MVP to the top of the PotG poll with 63% of the vote.