With Francisco Liriano set to return from the disabled list this week, the Tigers are deciding whether to move the left-handed Hardy to the bullpen or carry a six-man rotation. But Hardy didn’t let uncertainty about his future distract him from the task at hand, scattering six hits with only a Matt Davidson solo home run crossing home plate.
Once again, the Tigers offense did just enough to stay on top. Facing White Sox starter James Shields, Nicholas Castellanos found his power stroke again, belting a two-run dinger in the first inning for his third home run of the weekend. Niko Goodrum doubled in the fourth and came home on a Jose Iglesias two-out single to round out the scoring.
The Tigers looked to Louis Coleman and Alex Wilson to preserve the lead in middle relief, keeping the White Sox off the board for Joe Jiménez, closing in place of an overworked Shane Greene. Jiménez punctuated the sweep with an exclamation point, striking out the side on 14 pitches.
- Blaine Hardy: Outside of the solo home run, only one White Sox runner made it to third base against the lefty.
- Ron Gardenhire: The veteran Tigers manager has done a great job putting Hardy in a position to succeed over his run of starts, keeping his pitch counts low and rarely letting him pitch deep into the order for a third time.
- Nicholas Castellanos: His third home run in two days provided the scoring margin.
- The bullpen: Continues its run of unexpected competence.
With the Cleveland Indians winning earlier, Detroit remains 2.5 games back in the AL Central race. After a day off, The Tigers will try to keep their streak alive in Cincinnati Tuesday for a short interleague series.