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Tigers 4, White Sox 2: Happy on the road again

Eduardo Rodriguez was good in this one, and the bats heated up along the way.

Detroit Tigers v Chicago White Sox Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

After a rough home stand, the Detroit Tigers looked to be happy on the road again on Friday night in Chicago. Eduardo Rodriguez put up a strong outing and the bullpen carried a slim lead to the finish line to win 4-2.

The Tigers put White Sox starter Touki Toussaint on the ropes early, but he battled through. With one out in the top of the first, Riley Greene lashed a sharp single to right field. Matt Vierling got hit by a pitch, and then Spencer Torkelson drew a walk to load the bases. Kerry Toussaint bounced back, striking out Kerry Carpenter, and a line drive to left field off the bat of Miguel Cabrera was hauled in by Andrew Benintendi.

Toussaint really kept the offense quiet the next three innings. Eduardo Rodriguez did the same, but in the bottom of the third, a two-out walk to Tim Anderson led to the first run of the game when Benintendi singled him home. The White Sox got a leadoff double from Eloy Jimenez in the fourth, after the Tigers went down in order again, but a 6-4-3 double play with a really nice turnover from McKinstry ended the inning with no damage done.

Finally in the fifth, the rookie got the Tigers started. Parker Meadows led off with a single through the right side of the infield. Jake Rogers lined a single to left, and Zack Short moved them up 90 feet with a sacrifice bunt. Zach McKinstry struck out, but Riley Greene came through with a two-out single that scored them both and gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead that they’d never relinquish.

Eduardo Rodriguez was cruising at this point, with a little help from Riley Greene closing out the fifth inning as seen above.

The Tigers added on a run in the sixth when Spencer Torkelson led off with a walk, moved to third on a Cabrera single, and scored with some smart baserunning on a Meadows sacrifice fly to make it 3-1 Tigers. Rogers followed with a single to move Cabrera to second, and a Zach Short single brought him around third only to be thrown out at the plate. The Tigers challenged catcher Korey Lee’s attempt to block Cabrera’s lane, but to no avail.

The good defense continued in the bottom of the sixth when Luis Robert singled with one out, only to be cut down trying to steal second by Rogers. Zach McKinstry led off the seventh with a single and stole second base. Riley Greene was a little banged up after that diving catch, so rookie Andre Lipcius got his first major league at-bat, but struck out. Torkelson struck out and Carpenter lined out to center field to end the inning.

Lipcius took over at third base, moving Matt Vierling to left field in the bottom of the seventh. Rodriguez gave up a pair of singles in the inning, and with two outs Beau Brieske took over and got Oscar Colas on a hard hit ball to center field that Meadows handled.

Rodriguez finished with 6.2 IP, ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 7 K for another strong night on the mound.

In the eighth, Cabrera led off with his second single of the game. Hit number 3154 tied the big man with George Brett on the all-time list. Akil Baddoo came in to pinch-run for him, and promptly stole second base. Jake Rogers’ third single on the night brought Baddoo around from second to make it 4-1.

The White Sox got a run against Brieske in the eighth, making it 4-2 Tigers, and Will Vest took over to get the final two outs of the inning.

Alex Lange came on to close this out, and immediately Andrew Vaughn scorched a hard ground ball that ticked off Lipcius’ glove for a single. But even before fans got panicky with Lange on the mound, a double play ball erased both runners, and Lange punched out Colas with a nasty curveball to earn his 20th save of the season.

The Tigers will try to make it three in a row at 7:10 p.m. ET on Saturday. RHP Reese Olson take on RHP Mike Clevinger.