Detroit put together a come-from-behind win against the White Sox on Sunday, scoring five unanswered to cap off a 6-4 win. Alfredo Simon (6-3) pitched eight innings and allowed just one earned run to pick up the win today. Joakim Soria picked up his 16th save with a scoreless ninth inning. On the offensive end, the trio of Cespedes, Collins, and Martinez were a combined 8-for-11 with a pair of home
The Tigers wasted no time putting one on the board against Samardzija, scratching one out in the top of the first. Miguel Cabrera got things started with a two-out, ten-pitch walk. Yoenis Cespedes followed that up with a line drive single to left, and Tyler Collins dropped a looper into right center to score Cabrera. Although J.D. Martinez had the unfortunate luck to line a shot right at shortstop Alexei Ramirez, Detroit was on the board.
Alfredo Simon took the mound with the lead and proceeded to get two quick outs in the bottom of the first. This is when disaster struck. Jose Abreu singled to center field, then Adam LaRoche hit a shot that Miguel Cabrera misplayed into his first error of the season. The error would bite Detroit when Avisail Garcia homered to left center, giving Chicago a 3-1 lead on three unearned runs.
The first would not be the end of Simon's two-out struggles. The very light-hitting Carlos Sanchez drew a five-pitch walk in the second and once again Chicago would make Detroit pay. Adam Eaton's hit to left rattled around long enough to score Sanchez and put Eaton on third. Jose Iglesias made a nice play to end the bleeding, snagging a popup off the bat of Melky Cabrera in shallow left field. Chicago still led 4-1 after two innings.
While Simon was struggling, Samardzija had begun rolling. He set down eight in a row from the last out of the first to the first out of the fourth while striking out three during that span. The Tigers were finally able to scratch another one across when Collins hit a triple past Garcia in the fourth, followed by a Martinez RBI single. The good feelings from cutting into the deficit were very short-lived. Nick Castellanos popped one up into shallow right field, and J.D. lost track of how many outs there were. He was easily doubled off to end the top of the inning, Detroit still trailing 4-2.
The Tigers made an out on the basepaths in the fourth, so the White Sox paid them back twice. Geovany Soto managed to erase himself after a double when he tried to reach third on a Sanchez ground ball. Iglesias nailed him at third. Immediately afterwards, Sanchez tried to steal second. James McCann was only too happy too throw out the hapless runner.
Simon's yearlong ability to dance in an out of trouble held true in the fifth inning. He gave up his fourth extra base hit of the afternoon when Eaton doubled, but bore down to get the next three outs and keep his team in the game. The offensive support would come in a typically Tigers way; Cabrera hit into a double play to erase Ian Kinsler just before Cespedes stepped in.
And this is where Samardzija fell apart.
Cespedes drilled a 1-0 pitch the opposite way, clearing the wall to cut the White Sox lead to 4-3. Collins, who has been playing quite well in an attempt keep a roster spot, singled for his third hit of the day. Finally, Martinez stepped in and made up for his earlier TOOTBLAN. He took the first pitch he saw from the Shark and flipped it over a leaping Eaton in dead center, giving the Tigers a 5-4 lead. Samardzija was able to end the inning there, but the damage had been done.
Alfredo Simon had danced in and out of trouble all afternoon, keeping his team in position to come back. After they did, he was charged with holding the lead. Simon was able to do this with flair. He struck out one in the sixth and then all three in the seventh, earning a "Look out, Big Pasta" from Rod Allen as he walked off the mound at 103 pitches.
Samardzija stayed in the game despite giving up three runs in the sixth and three rocket outs in the seventh. The Tigers got him in the eighth. Kinsler, who has been mired in a deep slump, laced a drive up the gap in right center and beating the throw to second. Cabrera advanced him to third with a ground ball, and Cespedes, who had some nice swings against Shark, singled him in. Pinch hitter Rajai Davis, against Zach Duke, grounded into Detroit's third double play to end the inning, leaving Detroit with six outs to get.
Simon had set down nine consecutive, so manager Brad Ausmus let him start the eighth. The manager, whose decision to start Tyler Collins and hit him fifth worked out well, also chose correctly here. It took just six pitches to end the inning on a popup and two ground balls. Where it was once doubtful that he would get through five innings, now Big Pasta had gotten through eight in line for the win.
A 1-2-3 inning from reliever Jake Petricka set the stage for a redemption opportunity for Joakim Soria. After blowing the save Friday night, Detroit's closer locked down the ninth today. He allowed a baserunner on an Alexei Ramirez single, but got out of the inning unscathed. With that, Detroit won their second straight.
Alfredo Simon: After giving up four runs (just one earned) in the first two innings, it appeared that Simon's run of excellence was hanging in the balance. Big Pasta responded, not allowing another run while striking out seven on the game in eight innings of work.
J.D. Martinez: Martinez the Younger had excellent swings against Samardzija, including the go-ahead two-run homer in the sixth. Martinez ended the day with two hits and three RBIs.
Yoenis Cespedes: Detroit's left fielder has loved White Sox pitching this year, and today was no exception. His big fly began the sixth inning rally and cut the deficit to 4-3. All told, Cespedes went 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
Tyler Collins: The lefty made a compelling argument to get more playing time, going 3-for-3 with a triple and an RBI.
Brad Ausmus: The Tigers' manager pushed the right buttons today, putting Collins in the five-spot in the lineup and sticking with Simon after seven innings and 103 pitches.
Nick Castellanos: Another hitless day for the youngster, who struck out in four at bats.
Anthony Gose: Gose has been in a freefall at the plate lately. Today was no different, as he matched Castellanos' performance at the plate.
Double Plays: Because all Tigers' fans are getting sick of them.
STREAKS AND STATS: Throwing out Carlos Sanchez gave McCann an even 10 runners caught stealing on the year. He's tied for ninth in the MLB.
The Tigers hit into three more double plays today, giving them a smooth 62 on the year. Needless to say, that leads the league.
Miguel Cabrera has now reached base safely in 26 consecutive games after walking in the first.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: