The Detroit Tigers needed to come back for a win this cold, windy afternoon in Detroit after dropping the first game of the series to the Chicago White Sox 7-3 and letting the Sox take the division lead. Unfortunately they couldn’t hold Chicago back and lost 6-4 in ten innings.
The White Sox struck early off Tigers starter Michael Fulmer with two walks and a single to score a run in the top of the first inning, but the Tigers came back in the bottom of the first off White Sox starter Derek Holland with a leadoff triple by second baseman Ian Kinsler. Kinsler came around to score later in the inning on a single by designated hitter Victor Martinez.
Fulmer struggled in the second as well — he gave up two straight singles and a sacrifice fly to begin the inning. The White Sox inflicted further damage in the third when first baseman Jose Abreu hit a solo home run to left field.
Detroit didn’t do much for the following few innings, save for a walk and stolen base by left fielder Justin Upton in the fourth. In the bottom of the sixth, right fielder Mike Mahtook doubled and got to third base on a groundout by third baseman Nicholas Castellanos. Upton hit a single to drive in Mahtook from third, making the score 3-2 Chicago.
Blaine Hardy came in to relieve Fulmer at the start of the seventh inning and sent the Sox down 1-2-3, then surrendered a second solo home run to Abreu with two outs in the eighth. Shane Greene came in for Hardy after the home run and promptly hit White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier in the hip with his first pitch. Greene recovered to strike out former Tigers outfielder Avisail Garcia on a check swing to end the inning.
White Sox closer David Robertson came in for the ninth inning in an attempt to slam the door, but Victor Martinez greeted him by crushing his first pitch into right field for a home run to lead off the inning. First baseman John Hicks furthered the excitement with a long double off the left field wall and was driven in shortly thereafter by Alex Avila, who had pinch-hit for catcher James McCann. Avila’s RBI tied the game at four runs each. Robertson escaped the ninth with no more damage.
Justin Wilson came out of the bullpen in the tenth inning. His hitless streak was shattered when he gave up a home run to White Sox left fielder Melky Cabrera, which broke the 4-4 tie. Wilson allowed three baserunners and two earned runs before shutting down White Sox catcher Omar Narvaez with a swinging strikeout to finally end the inning.
Robertson came back for the bottom of the 10th, got one quick out, then walked Tigers center fielder Tyler Collins. Castellanos struck out swinging for the second out. Collins got to third on a passed ball during Victor Martinez’s at-bat, but Martinez flew out to left to end the game.
Justin Upton had a single, walk, stolen base, and RBI and was the only Tiger to get on base more than once until the ninth inning.
Victor Martinez hit a home run in the ninth for the Tigers third run of the game, and had an RBI in the first.
Michael Fulmer was not terribly effective today. He gave up three earned runs, a home run, three walks, four hits, and struck out three in six innings.
Tigers offense just couldn’t do much against the White Sox pitchers. They managed six hits but struck out nine times, including three times in the bottom of the eighth.
Justin Wilson, who had been reliable thus far, couldn’t get it done in the 10th. He entered a tie game and couldn’t hold it down.
STATS AND INFO:
- Jose Abreu hit his 13th and 14th career home runs against the Tigers this afternoon, and his career batting average against Detroit was .338 coming into play today.
- David Robertson had not blown a save until the Tigers got to him in the ninth.
- The home run to Melky Cabrera was the first hit and earned run Justin Wilson has surrendered this season.