A pitchers' duel ensued at Comerica Park, and pair of streaks remained intact. Doug Fister topped Hector Santiago in a 2-1 victory, the Detroit Tigers winning their sixth consecutive game while serving the White Sox their eighth straight loss.
Fister (10-5) was dominant, needing just 85 pitches over his eight innings, allowing one run and seven hits. Joaquin Benoit pitched the ninth, locking down his 11th save in as many opportunities.
Santiago pitched more than well enough to win most nights. He held the Tigers to six hits and two runs, striking out seven in seven innings off work.
Outhit seven to six, the Tigers made their six hits count. Newly acquired Jose Iglesias drove in the Tigers' first run with a fourth-inning single. Austin Jackson followed with a solo home run in the fifth, giving the Tigers their winning margin. Alex Rios reached base three times for the White Sox, scoring their lone run on Alexei Ramírez's sixth-inning single.
The Tigers were missing Miguel Cabrera for the third straight game. The AL's leading hitter was a late scratch due to a lingering abdominal strain. Post game, Jim Leyland refused to speculate if Cabrera would return tomorrow.
But the night belonged to Doug Fister. Winning his fourth straight decision, Fister has allowed only five runs in his last 26 innings, good for a 1.73 ERA during that span.
Both teams stranded a pair of runners in the first, unable to cap off two-out rallies with a run-scoring hit.
Top of one and two down, Alex Rios and Adam Dunn had back-to-back singles off Doug Fister. Jhonny Peralta made a nice play to keep Fister out of further trouble. He went deep into the hole for Paul Konerko's ground ball, then fired to second to retire the not-fleet-of-foot Mr. Three True Outcomes to end the inning.
With two outs in the first, Hector Santiago walked Matt Tuiasosopo and served up a single to Prince Fielder. But Danks extinguished the white-hot Victor Martinez (1.010 OPS for July), popping up to nip the rally in the bud.
For the second straight inning, a Tiger reached scoring position with two out, Brayan Pena doubling into the left field corner. But for the second straight inning, the Tigers would strand a runner in scoring position, Ramon Santiago grounding out to second.
The game settled into a pitchers' duel, scoreless through 3 1/2 innings. Fister was making use of his reportedly improved infield defense (though it was a bit of a mirage, Iglesias stationed at third while the rest of the infield had less combined range than Iglesias alone), with nine of 12 outs coming on ground balls.
Bottom of four, Santiago surrendered a lead-off double to Fielder, a ground ball just inside the first-base bag. Fielder hustled to third (more correctly, crashed into third with an awful slide), after tagging up on a Martinez fly ball. Prince went 90 feet, but his helmet flew another 20.
The earth having stopped shaking after Fielder's landing, Peralta lifted a can of corn to short right, not nearly deep enough to give the Tigers a lead. But Peralta's heir-apparent came through, picking up the RBI. Iglesias' two-out single came in a nice at-bat, fouling off a few 0-2 pitches before dropping a flair into shallow right. The first hit of the night with runners in scoring position gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead (MLB.com video).
A 1-2-3 fifth inning for Fister meant two more ground ball outs for the White Sox. The Tall Man was cruising, having faced the minimum since allowing a pair of first-inning singles.
Bottom of five and one out, Austin Jackson took Santiago yard, sending a 1-1 breaking ball into the bullpen. Jackson's solo shot was number seven on the season, the Tigers now up 2-0 (MLB.com video).
The White Sox snapped Fister's out streak at nine in the top of the sixth, getting on the scoreboard in the process. With two out, Alexei Ramirez doubled to left, scoring on Rios' single to center. Rios then cluelessly ran the White Sox out of the inning, getting caught in a rundown when Fielder wisely cut off Jackson's throw home.
With the game low-scoring at 2-1 and both pitchers working quickly, the seventh inning started just 90 minutes after the first pitch. But by pitch counts, Santiago was in worse shape than Fister, 93-59. The score remained 2-1 after seven, both Fister and Santiago pitching around singles.
Top of eight, Drew Smyly and Jose Veras warming up, Fister was still on the mound. After giving up a lead-off single to Dayan Viciedo, John Danks in to pinch run, Fister fell behind Gordon Beckham 3-0. Then manager Robin Ventura called for the hit and run. Thanks to some bad baseball luck, the strategy backfired. Santaigo was covering the bag and didn't have to move for Beckham's ground ball up the middle, turning a quick double play. Fister stuck out Josh Phegley on his 88th and final pitch of the game.
Right-hander Nate Jones replacing an excellent Santiago in the bottom of the eighth, the Tigers were retired in order. There would be no insurance runs for Joaquin Benoit, who would pitch the ninth against the top of the White Sox order.
Benoit retired the first two White Sox batters he faced before walking Rios on a borderline 3-1 pitch. Rios took off for second as Dunn was taking strike two, narrowly beating Pena's one-hop throw. Rios' 23rd theft of the season gave Dunn a shot at a game-tying RBI.
There would no miracles for the spiraling-into-oblivion White Sox. Dunn weakly bounced out 6-3.
Your final score is first-place Tigers 2, last-place White Sox 1. Any win without Miguel Cabrera in the lineup is a good win.
The offense takes a big hit without their All-World masher. But the Tigers don't need much offense when Fister is on his game. As Tigers' manager Jim Leyland often likes to say, "Momentum is your next day's starting pitcher." Fister was momentum personified.
Undefeated on the home stand at 6-0, the Tigers' sixth consecutive victory raised their record to 17 over .500 at 62-45. Their record in one-run games, once brutal, is now a more respectable 11-14. While the Tigers were racing to victory, the Marlins were busy ending the Indians' winning streak with a 10-0 victory. The Tigers' lead in the Central is back at three games.
Game two between the White Sox and Tigers features lefty John Danks (2-8, 4.57 ERA) taking on the Tigers de facto ace, Max Scherzer (15-1, 3.01 ERA). After getting knocked around for 11 runs in his previous 14 innings (six of those runs in a loss to the Tigers), Danks held the Indians to one run and two hits over six innings. The fourth pitcher to win 15 of his first 16 decisions since 1979, Scherzer is coming off another excellent performance, shutting out the Philles on one hit over six innings. First pitch on Fiesta Tigres (and BYB meetup) night is set for 7:08.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH:
Everyone in the AL Central is making like Frank the Tank: "We're going streaking!"
Coming into tonight's action, the Royals have won nine in a row, 9-1 in their last ten. The Indians have taken eight in a row, 8-2 over ten games. The Tigers have won five straight, also 9-1 in ten games. Even the White Sox and Twins are in on the streaking, but in the opposite direction. The White Sox are 1-9 in their last ten, losers of eighth straight. The Twinkies have lost four consecutive games.
The tenth straight (and 22nd overall) Comerica Park sellout crowd of 41,109 pushed the Tigers' season attendance over the two million mark.
Newest Tiger Jose Iglesias was supposed to get the start at second base tonight. But Miguel Cabrera was scratched from the lineup after taking infield, still having issues with an abdominal strain. The Tigers are calling "discomfort after pregame running." Iglesias was shifted to third base and batting seventh, Ramon Santiago inserted at second and hit ninth, while Matt Tuiasosopo was moved up to third in the batting order.
Iglesias received a nice welcome from Tigers fans in his first at-bat in the second inning. Unfortunately, Jeff Keppinger's diving stop ruined what could have been a Hollywood moment, turning possible extra bases in a 5-3 put out.
But in his next at-bat, Iglesias drove in the first run of the game with a two-out RBI single.
Iglesias fever #Tigers— dennis fithian (@dennisfithian) August 3, 2013
RETIRE NUMBER 1 IGLESIAS IS TEH GREATEST— BYB Rob (@Detroit4lyfeRob) August 3, 2013
The number one should be retired, but that's another post.
Top of seven and the lumbering Adam Dunn on first, Jim Leyland called a PITCH OUT.
Yes, the Tigers pitched out with Adam Dunn on first. Because LOLeyland.— Scott Rogowski (@DNR_Rogo) August 3, 2013
I'd swear the Tigers just pitched out with Dunn on first.— MattinToledo (@MattinToledo) August 3, 2013
Throw over and then pitchout with Adam Dunn on first base? He does have one stolen base this year.— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) August 3, 2013
WHY DID THE TIGERS JUST PITCH OUT WITH ADAM DUNN ON FIRST— BYB Rob (@Detroit4lyfeRob) August 3, 2013
In the big scheme of things, it was a minor decision. Regardless, it was a weird call to make. I love Leyland as a manager, but his thought processes when it comes to on-field decision making are often baffling.
Playing a full nine innings in a hair over two hours has to be a culture shock for the newest Tiger.
Has Iglesias ever played in a game this quick? He probably thinks its the 6th inning in Boston.— Bobby P (@BP29er) August 3, 2013
Time of game was a scorching 2:07.
You have to appreciate Hector Santiago's honesty:
I asked Hector Santiago if he breathed a sigh of relief when Miggy was a late scratch. "Definitely. … I was like, 'Yes!'"— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) August 3, 2013
Doug Fister: The Tall Man only struck out two, but was dominant all the same. Over eight innings, the White Sox pounded the ball into the turf time and time again, resulting in 16 ground ball outs and three double plays. Needing just 88 pitches through eight, no Tigers' starter has been this efficient in over two years.
Austin Jackson: His fifth-inning home run ended up being the margin of victory.
Jose Iglesias: Robbed of a hit in his first at-bat as a Tiger, Iglesias came through in his next at-bat with a two-out RBI single.
Bug Selig: Issue the the damn suspensions or GTFO.
People up in arms over Iglesias wearing Lou Whitaker's number: The Tigers have only retired the numbers of Hall of Famers (Willie Horton the one exception). If you want to bitch, do so at the Tigers for not taking the number out of circulation. If you really want to bitch, do so at the BBWAA; Lou Whitaker's numbers are worthy of Hall of Fame consideration, but the idiots in the BBWAA let him fall off the ballot.
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|Commenter list||AZBadger03, Alex Baker, Allison Hagen, BadCompany22, Cabbylander, DJ Screw, DeKaF, Designated for Assignment, Grzesio, HookSlide, JJMcEazy, JWurm, J_the_Man, Jacob30, JerseyTigerFan, Joaquin on Sunshine, KGW, Keith-Allen, Lukas M, Matthew Malek, Michigan&TrumbullinLA, NCDee, Nonsuch Ned, RedWingedLigerFan, Rob Rogacki, SanDiegoMick, Singledigit, Tigerdog1, Tigers, Lions, and Wings...Oh my!, Verlanderful, WestsideTigersfan, ahtrap, beelze, bobrob2004, bowling255, dishnet34, dpsmallwood, knucklescarbone, mrsunshine, stevenyc, texastigerfan|
TOP TEN COMMENTERS:
|9||Joaquin on Sunshine||40|
|# Recs||Commenter||Comment Link|
|15||Cabbylander||Hey Sox, you just got FISTED!|
|13||NCDee||Never a doubt!|
|4||Joaquin on Sunshine||Way to go, Doug|
|4||stevenyc||When you only get 2 runs of support, you need to become the Fist of Goodness.|
Torii Hunter didn't get the triple he needed to get the cycle. But four hits, three for extra bases, did get the Tigers' right fielder BYB PotG with 77% of the vote.