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White Sox 5, Tigers 3: Hey, the 9th inning was a little exciting

The Tigers tried to put together a late rally, but came up short.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox used a combined nine pitchers and left 19 runners on base in a 5-3 White Sox victory at Comerica Park on Saturday evening. The loss, your typical end-of-season affair between two middling clubs, was Detroit’s 109th of the year, tying the 1996 squad for the second-most losses in a single season in Tigers history.

The game was a squander-fest early on. Both squads went scoreless through the first four innings, but combined for 12 hits along the way. The Tigers grounded into a pair of double plays, while Tyler Alexander did just enough to keep the Sox off the board.

Chicago finally broke through in the fifth. Tim Anderson hit a solo home run to open the scoring, his 18th of the season. Jose Abreu and Eloy Jimenez then followed with singles, and scored on an RBI triple from Yoan Moncada. This ended Alexander’s evening, and gave the White Sox a 3-0 lead.

The Tigers were quick to strike back, though. Jake Rogers opened the bottom of the fifth with a single, and moved to third on a Willi Castro double. Rogers scored on an RBI groundout by Victor Reyes, and Brandon Dixon plated Castro with a sacrifice fly to bring the Tigers within one.

Unfortunately, that’s all they would manage for a while. Dawel Lugo was stranded on base in the sixth, and the Tigers went down in order in the seventh. Bryan Garcia retired two of the first three batters he faced in the eighth, but allowed a single and a walk to load the bases. Jose Abreu made Garcia and the Tigers pay with a two-out single, scoring two runs to put Chicago up 5-2.

Things got a bit more exciting in the ninth, relatively speaking. Lugo reached on a single to open the frame, then quickly advanced to second on a wild pitch from White Sox closer Alex Colome. Travis Demeritte then struck out... but reached base anyway because the ball eluded Sox catcher James McCann. Ronny Rodriguez then singled home Lugo to bring the Tigers within two and put the tying runner on base with no outs.

That’s all they would manage, though. Willi Castro grounded into a double play, and Victor Reyes struck out swinging to end the game.

The good things

  • Dawel Lugo had three hits. All of them were singles.
  • David McKay, Buck Farmer, and Joe Jimenez combined for 3 23 scoreless innings. McKay has a 3.78 ERA since joining the Tigers, while Farmer and Jimenez have ERAs of 3.38 and 3.91 in the second half, respectively.
  • The Baltimore Orioles currently lead the Seattle Mariners in the eighth inning. An Orioles win would put the Tigers’ magic number for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft at three.