DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers extended their record to 9-1 with walk-off heroics from Jose Iglesias and a monster home run by Yoenis Cespedes in the fourth. David Price dominated the White Sox, despite missing his spots at times, leading the Tigers to a 2-1 win over Chicago.
Price was not at his best Friday afternoon, but he managed to keep it to a one-run game. He limited the damage to one run, a solo homer by Avisail Garcia in the second. He allowed two walks but gave up just three more hits and struck out nine in eight innings of work. Price struck out the side to end his day, finishing at 108 pitches, 73 strikes. Joakim Soria came on in the ninth inning and recorded a perfect inning on just 10 pitches and little effort.
The Tigers' offense threatened in the first, third and fifth innings, putting runners at third base in the first two occasions. But following a smoked double by Miguel Cabrera that bounced off the left field wall -- missing a home run by inches -- back-to-back outs ended the threat in the first. A leadoff single by Rajai Davis went nowhere after Davis -- at third after a fielder's choice and an error -- was out at home on a contact play. Cabrera grounded into a double play, ending the third.
It wasn't until the fourth inning that the Tigers got on the board. Yoenis Cespedes launched a pitch deep into the left field walkway, past the lower seats for a home run. Knotted up 1-1, it was all the Tigers would get for the next two innings as they threatened again in the fifth but couldn't drive anyone home yet again.
Tied going into the ninth, Castellanos lead off with an ill-advised double, somehow supposedly making it. By video review Castellanos was clearly out, but the umpire had determined the play was over due to a pinch runner -- Andrew Romine -- being announced. A sacrifice bunt by Alex Avila advanced Romine to third and Jose Iglesias singled up the middle for a walk-off single, giving the Tigers a 2-1 lead. They are now 9-1 to start the season and 7-0 against the American League Central Division.
David Price: For all intents and purposes, Price wasn't on-point through seven innings, but he limited the damage and allowed just one run on four hits and two walks. Nearing 100 pitches, Price allowed a two-out bloop single but struck out the side in the eighth, finishing with 108 pitches and nine strikeouts. Price also displayed not one, but two nice defensive plays for outs. He received a no-decision. (1: MLB.com video) (2: MLB.com video)
Yoenis Cespedes: Killed a baseball in the fourth inning. Cespedes destroyed a 2-1 pitch past the lower seats, behind the Tigers bullpen and onto the walkway for a solo home run to tie the game. (MLB.com video)
Nick Castellanos' defense: This doesn't happen enough. In fact, it's typically akin to a blue moon. But Castellanos flashed the leather on more than one occasion Friday, making plays that, once again, he would've never made last year. The improvement by the third baseman is showing, and we can only hope it's here to stay for good.
Jose Iglesias: Hit a leadoff double in the seventh, and the game-winning single that gave the Tigers their ninth win of the season. It was the first walk-off hit of Iglesias' career. (MLB.com video)
Rest of the Tigers offense through eight: Despite eight hits and threatening to score four times -- with runners on third multiple times -- the Tigers got nothing for it. Three leadoff hits went for naught, including a double by Jose Iglesias in the seventh.
STREAKS AND STATS:
- David Price gave up his first home run of the season in the second inning. It was the first home run, and the first earned run allowed for the 2015 season. He allowed one run on four hits, striking out nine in eight innings of work. he's allowed one run in 22 1/3 innings, striking out 20 to start the season.
- Cespedes' home run in the fourth inning was the first home run of the season, and the first for Cespedes in a Tigers uniform.
- Cabrera's two hits raised his average to .429, giving the Tigers three players hitting above .400 to start the season along with Iglesias and Anthony Gose. Friday marked Cabrera's sixth multi-hit game this season over 10 games played.
- Joakim Soria has a 2.08 ERA in his previous five outings with the Tigers and he's given up just one earned run in 4 1/3 innings pitched, with four strikeouts and four saves.
- The Tigers are 9-1 to start the season, matching the 1984, 1968, and 1911 teams for the best 10-game start in franchise history.
- The Tigers pitching staff has allowed the fewest home runs in the American League so far this season (4). The only team with fewer runs allowed are the Chicago Cubs (2).
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: