DETROIT — David Price twirled a gem through eight innings against the White Sox Tuesday night, but in the end he couldn't shut the door on a complete game. Tied in the bottom of the ninth with two on, Miguel Cabrera walked it off for a 4–3 win over the White Sox, tying the series and holding the Tigers to a one-game lead in the AL Central.
Price allowed just three hits and gave up no walks in his eight innings of dominance over Chicago. Four of his eight innings produced 1-2-3 innings and he struck out eight in all. He gave up just two extra-base hits, one in the second and the other in the sixth. As Price emerged for the ninth inning looking for a complete game and at only 98 pitches, it looked like an easy task for the lefty.
"He had another outing here that was outstanding but he looked strong tonight," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "I thought his command was really good tonight. He was on the corners and when he missed he didn't miss over the middle too much, so I thought it was a great outing."
But as dominant as he was through eight, back-to-back hits scored when Price gave up a two-run RBI single to Avisail Garcia. Unable to get the third out after a brief mound visit by Ausmus, Price was pulled with the game tied and Joe Nathan (W, 5–4) left to get the final out. After walking the first batter he faced to load the bases, Nathan got Carlos Sanchez to pop out and send the Tigers into the bottom of the ninth, tied 3–3.
While Price was solid for the majority of the game, he had some backup on the field. Catches made by J.D. Martinez in left field saved a run early in the game while Rajai Davis and Torii Hunter flashed some leather of their own. Every time Price breathed a sigh of relief, giving the Tigers perfection through eight.
"It's awesome. I'd love to have my chance to talk my way into staying in the game," Price said. "I never want to come out of the game. I don't care if it's the ninth inning or the fifth inning. I want to stay in there and continue to battle. I felt good at that point. I just wasn't able to get the job well."
The Tigers have had a problem with producing runs for several days, but they finally snapped an 0-for-19 skid that had cost them two games and reduced their lead in the AL Central. They grinded out some at-bats scraping together some runs when they needed it the most.
The seventh inning produced only two runs but they sent eight men to the plate and suffered some bad luck on a ground-rule RBI double. Cabrera, who had been having a bad night at the plate, greeted the White Sox rudely in the ninth, slamming a game-winning RBI single to left field for a walk-off win. But were it not for Ian Kinsler's leadoff single and a walk by Torii Hunter, Cabrera would not have had the opportunity in the first place.
"It's about get together, it's not about one player, it's about the nine guys and the pitchers out there," Cabrera said. "I think we do a very good job today, hopefully we can come together tomorrow and win tomorrow."
David Price: 8 2/3 innings, eight hits, three runs, no walks and eight strikeouts. A solid outing by any definition. The runs just so happened to come all at once, but one less-than-perfect inning does not erase eight innings of shutout baseball. One out away from a complete game, Price pitched well under pressure and gave the Tigers their best outing by a starter in a while.
Rajai Davis: He manufactured a run in the fifth inning in the middle of another pitching duel. After advancing to second base on Ian Kinsler's groundout, Davis stole third base and came home on a throwing error by Josh Phegley.
J.D. Martinez: Saved a run by reaching over the left field fence, making a slight leaping catch to rob Phegley of a home run and the White Sox from taking the lead.
Ian Kinsler/Torii Hunter: After six innings of next-to-no production at the plate, the Tigers sent eight men to the plate, scoring two runs. Kinsler broke up the Tigers' RBI-less streak, knocking in an RBI single. Were it not for a ground-rule double that hopped into the stands, Hunter's RBI double would have produced more than one run.
Miguel Cabrera: Ripped a two-out double in the first inning and drove in the game-winning RBI single in the ninth in a tied game.
Tigers offense for six innings: Until the created run in the fifth, the Tigers were in an 0-for-19 slump and they failed to get an RBI until Kinsler's RBI single in the seventh.
Anibal Sanchez was taken off the disabled list after missing six weeks of playing time. It was announced he would pitch out of the bullpen.
STREAKS AND STATS:
- Miguel Cabrera hit a double in the first inning, setting a new single-season career-high with his 51st of the season.
- Ian Kinsler set a new single-season career high with his 87th RBI of the season in the seventh inning.
- The run produced by Davis in the fifth inning snapped an 0-for-19 scoreless streak that the Tigers had been treading through. He also scored later in the seventh. The Tigers are 7–1 in games where Davis scores two-or-more runs.
- Kinsler's RBI single in the seventh inning was the first RBI for the team since Kinsler's home run against the Royals on Sunday.
- David Price allowed just three hits, no runs and no walks through eight innings, but allowed three runs on five hits in the ninth to take a no-decision. Price has pitched at least eight innings in 13 of his last 20 starts.
- Torii Hunter's RBI double in the seventh inning extended his hitting streak to nine games. Hunter is batting .375 during that stretch.
- The Tigers stole two bases Tuesday night, bringing their season total to 103. It is the most stolen bases they have had in a season since also stealing 103 in 2007.
- Cabrera's walk-off single was the fifth walk-off win for the Tigers this season. It is the 11th walk-off hit in Cabrera's career, his eighth career walk-off hit with the Tigers, and the first since hitting a walk-off home run on August 17, 2013 against the Royals.
- The Tigers' win kept the Tigers at a one-game lead over the Royals, who won 7–1 against the Indians. The win brings Detroit's magic number to five to take the division, and two to clinch a spot in the playoffs with five games left to play.
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