The Detroit Tigers bounced back from a heart breaking loss in Chicago on Labor Day, defeating the White Sox on Tuesday evening by a score of 8-3. In a battle for third place in the American League’s Central division with implications for the 2019 MLB amateur draft, the Tigers sent Francisco Liriano to the mound to face off against Chicago’s Lucas Giolito. The Tigers’ lefthander would record a victory for the first time since April 23.
After a scoreless first inning, the Tigers opened the scoring in the second on a no-out bases loaded double by Grayson Greiner that split the outfielders in right-center field. Victor Martinez and Niko Goodrum scored, with Mikie Mahtook taking third on the play. Dawel Lugo ripped a one out double into the gap in left-center field and took third when the ball was bobbled. That plated two more runs, making it 4- 0 Tigers with one out in the second inning. Giolito walked Candelario to put runners at the corners and his day was done.
Hector Santiago came on in relief, getting Jim Adduci to ground into a force out retiring Candelario at second, but Adduci beat the relay, allowing Lugo to score. Nick Castellanos flied out to right to leave the score 5- 0 Detroit heading to the bottom of the second inning.
Candelario saved a run in the bottom of the second inning, fielding a line drive down the third base line with a runner on second and two outs.
Niko Goodrum drew a one out walk in the third inning and stole second, his 11th steal of the season. After Chicago catcher Kevin Smith dropped a pop foul behind the plate, Greiner drilled a single to right field to score Goodrum. Jacoby Jones struck out for the second time in the game to end the inning with the Tigers leading, 6- 0.
The White Sox got on the board in the fourth inning. Liriano walked Davidson leading off, and he moved to second on a wild pitch. Smith singled, putting runners at the corners. Yoan Moancada singled in Davidson, moving Smith to second. Dave Engle hit a dribbler toward the third base line which was fielded by Liriano but the throw went off Adduci’s glove into right field, scoring Smith. Ryan Cordell hit a sacrifice fly, making it 6- 3.
Jeanmar Gomez replaced Santiago to start the fifth inning and struck out Castellanos, Martinez and Goodrum. After Liriano retired the side in the fifth, Mahtook led off the sixth inning with a single and stole second. Greiner struck out and Jones was hit by a pitch to put two on with one out. Lugo struck out, and Gomez was replaced by Aaron Bummer. He balked the runners to second and third but got Candelario to strike out to end the threat.
Sandy Baez, who was recently called up from double-A Erie, replaced Liriano to start the bottom of the sixth inning. Liriano left having worked five innings, giving up three runs, two earned, seven hits and striking out five.
With his fastball topping out at 97 mph, Baez retired the Sox in order, getting a pair of fly balls and a grounder. In the seventh, he gave up a two out bloop single to Jose Rondon over the glove of Goodrum at shortstop, but got Wellington Castillo on a line drive to Castellanos on the warning track in right field to end the inning.
Bummer gave up a lead off single to Goodrum to start the eighth inning, and he was replaced by Ryan Burr, Chicago’s fifth pitcher of the game. Mahtook greeted him with a 403 foot blast over the fence in left-center field for his sixth home run since being recalled, giving Detroit an 8- 3 lead. Lugo followed with his second double of the game, but was called out when he did a bunny hop trying to stay on the base.
Joe Jiminez came on in relief of Baez in the eighth inning. He got Davidson to pop out to first base, and then struck out Omar Narvaez and Moancada for a clean inning.
Thyago Viera worked the ninth inning for Chicago. Adduci laced a one out single to right field. After Castellanos struck out, Martinez singled him to third and was replaced by Victor Reyes as a pinch runner. Viera struck out Goodrum to end the threat.
Sixteen Tigers struck out in this game, between the eight runs crossing the plate.
Alex Wilson came on for Detroit in the ninth inning with a five run lead. He retired all three batters he faced to close out the victory, pushing the Tigers back into a tie with Chicago for third place, and for the sixth selection in next June’s draft.
Who was the Tigers’ player of the game?
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Grayson Greiner; 2 run double, RBI single
Mikie Mahtook, HR, 2 runs, 2 RBI, 2 for 3
Dawel Lugo, 2 doubles, 2 runs, RBI
Francisco Liriano, a win!