DETROIT -- Once again, Anibal Sanchez couldn't keep it in the ballpark. Neither could the White Sox, with the Tigers hitting two home runs and scraping out just enough offense in a close contest. Late-inning heroics by Rajai Davis and J.D. Martinez put Detroit ahead, and the Tigers won 5-4 over the Chicago White Sox, this time without going to extras.
Sanchez was not sharp, despite giving up just six hits and striking out seven in his seven innings of work. He gave up three more home runs, one against Adam Eaton on the fourth pitch of the game. The last one started the seventh, giving the White Sox a 4-3 lead at the time. He walked just two batters and finished with 106 pitches, 70 of which were strikes, but it's the same old story. A couple of good starts followed by an implosion in the form of homers.
Speaking of a tied game, the Tigers had 13 hits against the White Sox, but had just the four runs to show for it. They just couldn't string hits together, despite even Miguel Cabrera's three-doubles game. Rajai Davis was hitless against the White Sox through six innings until he hit home run in the seventh, which tied the game 4-4. Yoenis Cespedes, who was chasing an eight-game hitting streak, knocked an RBI triple up the right-center field gap to score Victor Martinez from first.
It was just that kind of night when it felt like every run had to be earned twice over just to keep the game tied. But after Sanchez's up and down night, Bruce Rondon came on in the eighth and retired the 3-4-5 batters with ease on just 13 pitches, striking out Adam LaRoche and topping 100 mph once to Jose Abreu. With a one-run lead to work with, it was Joakim Soria's job to close it up. Despite allowing a leadoff double and a single that put runners at the corners, he got the job done, preserving the win for his 17th save of the season.
Miguel Cabrera: Hit back-to-back doubles, driving in a run in the first to tie the game at the time. He later doubled in the seventh, giving him another three-hit day.
Yoenis Cespedes: Smoked an RBI triple in the fifth, scoring Victor Martinez from first base, who had singled in his at-bat. Yep, you read that correctly.
Rajai Davis: To be honest, he was in the HISS department until the seventh inning. But a leadoff home run on an 0-2 pitch absolves him of at least what was a quiet night at the plate. Defensively, though, he took creative routes, and not the good ones.
J.D. Martinez: That baseball is going to sue for damages. Martinez destroyed an 89 mph fastball on a 1-0 pitch to start the eighth into the left field seats, scoring the go-ahead run and untying the game in the Tigers' favor.
Anibal Sanchez: Gave up just six hits, but three of those ended in the seats. He finished with four runs allowed on those six hits, two walks, and seven strikeouts. With an up and down offense, it wasn't going to cut it, but it's not cutting it regardless.
STREAKS AND STATS:
- Anibal Sanchez allowed the 16th and 17th home runs of the season in the first and seventh innings, a three-way tie for the most in Major League Baseball. Nine of the home runs he's given up have come against right-handed batters, eight to lefties. Sanchez's single-season career-high home runs allowed are 20. Not a good mark to be chasing before half of the season is complete.
- Miguel Cabrera's RBI double in the first marked his 53rd RBI of the season, tying him with Oakland's Stephen Vogt for first in the American League.
- Cabrera's first-inning hit also gives him a five-game hitting streak and his 26th multi-hit of the game of the season. His three-hit game marked the ninth of the season. This marked the third time in his career that Cabrera hit three doubles in a game, his last coming on May 30, 2012 against the Red Sox.
- Yoenis Cespedes' RBI triple in the fifth gave him an eight-game hitting streak.
- J.D. Martinez homered in back-back-to-back games on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night, the second time he's done so this season and the third back-to-back homer game of the year. His last was on June 13-15 -- two games against the Indians, one against the Reds.
- Martinez has now hit six home runs in his last five games and nine in his last 12.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: