I am not too proud to tell you that if you’d asked me mere months ago if Michael Lorenzen would have been as good as he was today, I would have said “Who is Michael Lorenzen?”
Anyway, I’m opening the recap with the good news: Lorenzen was fantastic. Perfect, in fact, for more than five innings. He kept the White Sox scoreless through 6.2 innings. He was ON. Alas, he was also responsible for two of the baserunners when Jason Foley came on, so when Gavin Sheets hit a base-clearing double, well... We’ll get to that.
Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves and see how this game turned into a rollercoaster into the late innings.
As I mentioned effusively already, Lorenzen was the game’s starter for the Tigers, and went through the top of the first with an efficient 1-2-3. In the bottom of the inning the Tigers managed one baserunner in the form of a Zach McKinstry leadoff single, but no runs got even close to scoring.
It was another 1-2-3 for Lorenzen in the second, but things looked different in the bottom of the inning. A one-out double for Akil Baddoo put a man on board. Jonathan Schoop reached on an infield single, and then Andy Ibanez singled to score Baddoo. Zack Short walked, and then McKinstry hit a sac fly to score Schoop. Side note here but if teams are going to have multiple Za(k/c/ch/ck)s they should be required to all have the same spelling. Tigers finished the inning up 2-0.
The third and fourth innings went toot sweet as they say in French. (Don’t @ me about that, it’s a joke). 1-2-3 x 2 x 2. Lorenzen continued that trend into the fifth, but the Tigers got a little more active again in the bottom of the fifth. Short drew another walk and was able to steal second. Torkelson also got a walk, but they weren’t able to pad their lead and left the inning without scoring any runs.
With two outs in the top of the sixth, Lorenzen lost his perfect game, giving up a single to Romy Gonzalez. No runners scored, but it was a sign that Lorenzen’s game might be drawing to a close. Bottom of the sixth and Baddoo got a one-out walk and advanced to second on a Schoop groundout, but no runs scored.
I wish I could tell you that things continued to chug along smoothly in the seventh, and if that’s how you want to remember this game, this is your warning to stop reading now. Andrew Benintendi got a leadoff walk, then Yoan Moncada got a single. Lorenzen got the next two outs but that was it for his day, with a final line of 6.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K on 68 pitches. Great outing. Unfortunately the same could not be said for Foley in relief, though much of the blame for what was to come would be on Ibanez and not Foley. Jake Burger got safely to first on an Ibanez throwing error. Then Gavin Sheets doubled to clear the runners from the basepaths, landing himself on second and everyone else back in the dugout. White Sox up 3-2.
As big of a bummer as the top of the seventh was, the misery was short-lived. McKinstry got a one-out home run to tie things up.
Riley Greene followed that with a double, then Spencer Torkelson doubled to score Greene and give the Tigers back their lead.
They weren’t done yet, though, because Torkelson was able to advance to third on a wild pitch, then an Eric Haase single scored Torkelson and put the Tigers up 5-3 at the end of the seventh.
Chasen Shreve was next out of the pen for the Tigers, and he had a nice 1-2-3 inning to get them through the top of the eighth. Bottom of the inning saw more heat from the Detroit bats. Perhaps the Riley Greene giveaway bucket hats should become the new rally cap standard. Schoop doubled to lead things off, then advanced to third on an Ibanez out. Short then homered to bring in two extra runs, because better safe than sorry. McKinstry then doubled, because why the heck not? No additional runs scored after that, but it was fun to watch.
Will Vest got the nod in the ninth to finish things off, and he did just that.
Final: Tigers 7, White Sox 3