Justin Verlander shut down the Chicago White Sox for seven innings and the Tigers got to Jose Quintana for five runs to give the Tigers a 5- 2 victory and a three game sweep at Comerica park on Sunday. The win pulls the Tigers back to .500 on the season, and within half a game of the sinking Sox in the American league's central division.
The White Sox opened the scoring in the first inning when Jose Abreu hit a two out home run off Verlander into the center field bushes. Verlander walked Alex Avila to start the third inning, and Tyler Saldino followed with a double past Castellanos down the third base line to put runners on second and third with no outs.The Tigers' ace then got a comebacker and a pair of strikeouts, his fourth and fifth of the game, to escape without damage.
Ian Kinsler led off the bottom half of the first frame with a base hit, but was erased when Cameron Maybin hit into a double play. Victor Martinez and JD Martinez led off the Tigers' half of the second inning with a pair of singles, but Quintana struck out Justin Upton and got Castellanos and McCann to ground into a pair of force outs to end the threat. Cameron Maybin drew a two out walk in the third inning, and Miguel Cabrera laced a double into the left field corner to tie the game up at 1- 1. Quintana worked around a two out single by Justin Upton in the bottom of the fourth.
Verlander notched another pair of strikeouts in the top of the fourth inning, retiring the side in order. Jimmy Rollins led off the top half of the fifth with a double and advanced to third on a sacrifice fly by Avila. With the infield drawn in, Jose Iglesias made a diving stop on a smash from Saldino, holding Rollins at third. Adam Eaton laid down a two out bunt that was fielded by McCann, whose throw was just in time to end the inning.
The Tigers broke through in the fifth inning when Kinsler blooped a one out broken bat single into center field, Maybin followed with a double down the right field line, and Cabrera was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out. Victor Martinez popped out to first base, and JD Martinez drew a walk to put the Tigers ahead, but they weren't done.
Castellanos reached on an infield single up the middle to score Maybin, and Upton ripped a 3- 0 pitch into the left field corner, scoring two more runs to put the Tigers up by a score of 5- 1, and ending Quintana's day. Miguel Gonzalez replaced Quintana, and got McCann to line out to third base to end the inning.
Todd Frazier drilled a solo home run with two outs in the sixth inning, tying him for the major league lead with 18 on the season, and making the score 5- 2 Detroit. Verlander worked around a single by Avila in the seventh and notched his eighth strikeout to end the inning.
Iglesias led off the bottom of the sixth inning with single and stole second, and advanced to third on a sacrifice fly, but Cabrera struck out to strand the runner. After Dan Jennings replaced Gonzalez, Victor Martinez led off the Tigers' half of the seventh, but nothing would come of it. McCann led off the bottom of the eighth with a single and was sacrificed to second by Iglesias.
Shane Greene was summoned in the eighth inning with a three run lead, and he retired the Sox in order for the second game in a row to preserve the Tigers' 5- 2 lead. Frankie Rodriguez came in to close out the game and pick up his league leading 17th save of the season to complete the three game sweep for Detroit.
- Verlander worked seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits, one walk, and eight strikeouts.
- Defense: A diving stop by Iglesias and a perfectly fielded bunt by McCann saved run in the fifth inning
- Offense: Every Tigers' starter had at least one hit. 12 hits total for the team
- Justin Upton had two hits including a bases loaded double for a pair of RBI's
- Ian Kinsler had two more hits giving him a league leading 23 multi hit games this season
- Cameron Maybin reached base three times, giving him an on base percentage of .474 for the season
- Chet Lemon, a hero on the 1984 Tigers, paid a visit to the Fox Sports booth after being honored with the Willie Horton legacy award. Lemon is now coaching baseball. Well deserved, Chester!
- Hawk Harrelson
STREAKS AND STATS:
- Verlander and Quintana tied for the American league lead in pitchers' fWAR for the month of May with 1.4 WAR each
- Quintana entered Sunday's game with the highest fWAR and the lowest ERA among qualified starting pitchers in the American league. Not any more.
- Miguel Cabrera extended his latest hitting streak to six games with an RBI double
- Victor Martinez had a pair of hits to increase his batting average to a league leading .352 for the season
- Detroit's lineup features five batters hitting above .300. The White Sox' lineup is without a .300 hitter. Melky Cabrera leads the team with a batting average of .275.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: