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Tigers 4, White Sox 3: Jarrod Saltalamacchia saves the day

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Matt Boyd’s day wasn’t the best, but it was a lack of offense that kept the game close.

Chicago White Sox v Detroit Tigers Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

DETROIT — The Tigers’ offense couldn’t capitalize on multiple chances to break open a comfortable lead, but they had just enough to push across a 4-3 win against the White Sox. Thanks to a home run by Justin Upton and a two-run go-ahead home run by Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the eighth, Detroit scraped out a slim win.

Matt Boyd couldn’t make it past four innings of work. While his night started out well enough damage-wise, the pitches were mostly flat and his curveball didn’t have much drop to it. The command struggles he experienced came to a head in the fourth and to start the fifth.

While the White Sox would only score two runs off Boyd in the fourth, he was quickly pulled from the game after giving up a leadoff single and a walk to start the fifth. It was only because of Alex Wilson’s efficient work to replace Boyd, that the starter’s damage wasn’t worse.

Issues or no, though, the offense had another cold day at the plate. Not for a lack of opportunities, though. They put six men on-base in scoring positions, and not once did they plate a runner, which included a bases-loaded chance in the fifth inning.

J.D. Martinez had a particularly down night with a double for naught in between, striking out twice in two of the biggest moments of the game. But most of the offense couldn’t find timely hits until the eighth inning, until Saltalamacchia came up huge and planted a 395-foot two-run home run to the seats in right-center field.

ROARS:

Alex Wilson: Entered the game in the fifth with no outs and a two-on situation. He got a quick double play and a snappy unassisted third out to first base to quietly end the threat. He repeated his performance in the sixth with an easy 1-2-3 inning and two strikeouts. His home run in the seventh notwithstanding, overall he pitched well and the offense just didn’t show up.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia: Knocked a two-run dinger out just far enough in right-center to hand the Tigers a win.

Justin Upton: You dinger, you get a roar. Obviously.

HISSES:

Tigers offense: Stagnant, despite multiple scoring chances.

J.D. Martinez: The usually hot J.D. came up empty against Chicago. He had a double in the fourth and walked to start the eighth, but when he was responsible for a total of five baserunners split between two innings, he struck out, ending both frames.

STATS AND INFO:
  • Justin Upton’s game-tying home run in the sixth was his 18th of the year. In nine full seasons at the MLB level (he played 43 games in 2007 at age-19) he’s had less than 18 three times, his last coming in 2012. Two of those he finished with 17 homers, the third with 15.
  • The home run allowed by Alex Wilson was the first long ball he’d given up since May 28 when he allowed four runs on five hits in two-thirds of an inning. He also gave up two doubles in that outing.
  • The seventh-inning homer given up by Alex Wilson was just his third allowed this year.
  • After giving up a home run on May 28, Alex Wilson went 40 consecutive innings without allowing a home run until the dinger on Monday night. That ties him with the Red Sox’s Robbie Ross for the fourth-longest homerless streak by innings pitched in the American League for 2016. Blue Jays’ Joe Biagini has the AL record this year, at 54 13 innings.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH:

Source: FanGraphs