Like many of our friends throughout the SB Nation network, we are simulating the 2020 MLB season with MLB The Show 20. While we are unable to stream the games as they would otherwise be happening, we will try to get ahead of the curve and post about the games on the same day they would have taken place. Or, you know, at least get them back on schedule. Now, onto the recap!
C.J. Cron hit two home runs, the latter a two-run shot that gave his club a late lead, and the simulated Detroit Tigers held on for dear life in a wild 7-6 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday. The victory helped the Tigers avoid a sweep, and kept them just above Chicago in the AL Central standings.
For a little while, this one looked very similar to the first two games of the series. The Tigers put a few runners on base early against Sox starter Lucas Giolito, but came away empty through the first three frames. A pair of double plays in the second and third innings did not help. The White Sox countered with a run in the bottom of the third when Adam Engel, who singled and stole second base, scored on a two-out Yoan Moncada single to right.
But things changed quickly after that. The Tigers put together a two-out rally of sorts in the fourth, when Cron, Niko Goodrum, and Jonathan Schoop hit back-to-back-to-back solo home runs off Giolito. Cron’s and Goodrum’s homers came on back-to-back pitches, while watched two balls go by before launching his 11th round-tripper of the year, giving the Tigers a 3-1 lead.
The White Sox came back with two runs in the fifth to tie the game. Danny Mendick got things going with a single, and Engel beat out a slow roller that didn’t even make it past the pitcher’s mound. A Leury Garcia sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position, and Moncada made the Tigers pay again with a two-run double to left. But Turnbull was able to escape further damage, retiring Tim Anderson and Edwin Encarnacion to end the inning.
The teams traded scoreless frames in the sixth before spotting one another a run in the seventh. White Sox reliever Jimmy Cordero hit Goodrum to lead off the top of the seventh, and the Tigers shortstop moved up to second base on a Schoop groundout. Christin Stewart delivered with an RBI single up the middle to give the Tigers a 4-3 lead, but it did not last long. Hitting from his weaker side against lefthander Gregory Soto, Moncada lined a double into the right field corner in the bottom of the inning, then scored on a seeing-eye single from Encarnacion.
After Buck Farmer recorded the final out, the Tigers struck quickly in the top of the eighth. Victor Reyes led off the frame with a double, and Cameron Maybin scored him with a single up the middle. Miguel Cabrera just missed a fastball grooved down the middle, but C.J. Cron did not, lining Fry’s first pitch over the left field wall for his second home run of the game.
The homer gave Detroit a 7-4 lead, one that they would need every inch of. Farmer nearly gave the lead away in the bottom of the eighth, loading the bases with no outs. But he cleaned up his own mess, retiring the side without allowing a run. The same could not be said for Joe Jimenez, who gave up back-to-back home runs in the ninth before retiring the side for his 12th save of the season.
With the win, the Tigers moved back into second place in the AL Central, and sit just two games behind the Minnesota Twins. The Tigers are off on Monday before returning home for a series against the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday.
AL Central Standings - MLB The Show Simulation
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