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Tigers 2, White Sox 1 (F/7): Home runs, weather help Mike Pelfrey clinch his 3rd win

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Tonight’s MVP = Mother Nature

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Chicago White Sox David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that was anticlimactic. After a rain delay spanning nearly three hours, the Detroit Tigers were awarded (?) a 2-1 victory in 6 1/2 innings over the Chicago White Sox. Mike Pelfrey recorded his third win of the season, and second in three starts over the White Sox.

The Tigers threatened to score a couple times in the early innings, but as has been the case far too often recently, they came up empty. Nick Castellanos struck out with two runners on base to end the first inning, then fanned again with the bases loaded in the third. After Miguel Cabrera lined out to second base earlier that inning, the White Sox intentionally walked Victor Martinez to get to Castellanos, who was 1-for-13 against White Sox starter James Shields entering Thursday’s game.

After Pelfrey escaped a pair of jams in the first two innings, the White Sox finally broke through against him in the third. Adam Eaton led off the inning with a double to center field, then came around to score on a Tim Anderson single that bounced over Miguel Cabrera’s head. With the threat of a big inning looming, Pelfrey induced a double play off the bat of Melky Cabrera to end the threat.

The Tigers didn’t score until the fifth inning, when Ian Kinsler (who else?) hit a solo home run to center off Shields. After Cameron Maybin flew out to the warning track in right field, Miguel Cabrera cleared the wall with a solo homer of his own, his 19th of the season.

The White Sox threatened again in the sixth inning. A single and a walk with one out chased Pelfrey to the showers, but Shane Greene struck out Todd Frazier and induced a soft groundout from J.B. Shuck with the bases loaded to keep the Tigers ahead. Greene’s efforts earned him his second save of the season.

ROARS:

Ian Kinsler: The Tigers’ MVP started the game 3-for-3 and hit a game-tying solo home run in the top of the fifth inning. He also turned a pair of crucial double plays with Jose Iglesias in the early innings.

Miguel Cabrera: The slugger finally broke out of his slump with a solo homer in the fifth.

The weather: I mean...

HISSES:

Nick Castellanos: 0-for-3 and six runners left on base? That’s impressive for a nine-inning game, let alone one shortened by weather.

STATS AND INFO:
  • With his home run in the fifth inning, Ian Kinsler became the 13th second baseman in MLB history to hit 20 home runs in a season four times.
  • Ian Kinsler joined Lou Whitaker and Charlie Gehringer as the only Tigers second basemen in team history to hit 20+ home runs in their age-34 season or later.
  • Kinsler is the first Tigers second baseman to hit 20 home runs in a season since Damion Easley in 1999.
  • Miguel Cabrera’s home run was the 427th of his career, which tied him with Hall of Famer Mike Piazza for 47th in MLB history.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH:

Source: FanGraphs