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White Sox 3, Tigers 2: Lack of offense sinks Detroit to drop Game 2 of doubleheader

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The pitching wasn't the problem, but the Tigers' offense ran themselves into outs -- and a win.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

DETROIT -- In Game 2 of Monday's doubleheader, Randy Wolf provided a second much-needed quality start for the Detroit Tigers. But a lack of offense stranded what could have been an easy win and the Tigers dropped a 3-2 decision to the Chicago White Sox.

The bullpen would've been lucky to get four, maybe five innings out of Wolf. They got seven. Wolf's only struggles came in the second and third innings when he gave up two runs and a run, respectively. All five of the hits he gave up were of the extra-base variety: two triples, two doubles, and a home run to Gordon Beckham. Considering how doubleheaders usually go, getting two quality starts from both starters on Monday was a lifesaver for the bullpen.

By the time the fourth inning had rolled around, Wolf had settled in and his pitches had more life to them. They weren't exactly blowing away opposing batters, but despite the walks, there was enough life to his pitches to keep hitters guessing. While he threw primarily fastballs, Wolf's slider and curveball were no less successful in being able to get outs and it kept the Tigers in the game while the offense played catch-up.

An offense that, while they put two on the board in the third, stranded five batters -- including a bases-loaded situation in the fourth -- and were retired meekly for the rest of the game. Both teams had five hits and five left on-base, but the Tigers just couldn't take advantage of their opportunities.

ROARS:

Randy Wolf: Gave the Tigers seven solid innings of three-run ball. He allowed just five hits and struck out six batters. A mark against him, he did walk four batters but none of them came around to score.

Alex Avila: He finished 1-for-1 with the home run and he walked twice, once in the fourth and then again in the seventh.

Tigers bullpen: Alex Wilson pitched a beautiful 1-2-3 eighth inning on 13 pitches, a welcome sight after his last outing. Bruce Rondon, who has been dubbed by manager Brad Ausmus as the reliever with the most to prove as the season closes, put up his own sparkling ninth half-inning.

HISSES:

Tigers offense: Had just two runs across six innings. They stranded multiple baserunners including a squashed third-inning rally thanks to a caught stealing by Rajai Davis. They loaded the bases in the fourth on a single by Miguel Cabrera, a double by Nick Castellanos, and a walk by Avila but couldn't push a run across.

STREAKS AND STATS:

  • Alex Avila's solo home run in the third traveled an estimated 417 feet and left his bat at 108 mph, according to Statcast. It marked his first home run since July 7 against the Mariners and just his third of the season. The homer was also Avila's first RBI since July 21 when he drove in a run on an RBI single, also vs. the Mariners.
  • With his two innings caught in the eighth and ninth frames, James McCann now has the most innings caught of any rookie Tigers catcher ever, with 880 2/3 innings. The previous record was set by Frank House in 1954, with 880 innings caught.

WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH:


Source: FanGraphs