With the bitter taste of last night's loss still lingering in the air, the Detroit Tigers avoided a series sweep with a 4-1 win over the Chicago White Sox this afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field. The Tigers played solid defense and manufactured a pair of early runs before giving the pitching staff some breathing room in the eighth inning.
Kyle Lobstein played the stopper role today, holding the White Sox to just one run on five hits in a career-high 7 2/3 innings. Lobstein was one batter away from working through eight innings, but his dominant effort gave the bullpen a much-needed day of rest prior to a big series with the Kansas City Royals.
Joakim Soria was the only reliever who pitched in today's game, completing a four-out save with four strikeouts. Soria did not allow a baserunner and threw just 16 pitches, 14 of which were strikes. He now has 11 saves and a 1.38 ERA on the season.
Victor Martinez was the Tigers' best hitter for the second day in a row, collecting three hits in four at-bats. Martinez had an RBI single in the top of the eighth inning to give the Tigers a 3-1 lead. He also hit a ground rule double in the third, but was stranded at second base.
Rajai Davis was 0 for 4 with a strikeout today, but he almost singlehandedly manufactured the would-be game-winning run in the fifth inning. Davis worked a one-out walk against White Sox starter Jose Quintana, then moved up to second on a single by Ian Kinsler. Davis' speed paid off in a big way when he stole third base, his seventh theft of the year. Because of the steal, he was able to score on Miguel Cabrera's groundout in the next at-bat.
Game 28 Player of the Game
Joba Chamberlain's eighth inning implosion sapped the BYB staff's energy to come up with a poll -- it was nearly midnight, after all -- but Victor Martinez's four-RBI night probably would have netted him a large portion of the vote. Martinez hit his first home run of the year off of White Sox starter Chris Sale, and also hit an RBI single to give the Tigers a 6-3 lead before the late-inning hijinx.