Andre Rienzo was a scratch with a blister on the ring finger of his right hand and Dylan Axelrod stepped into the breach. The White Sox gave him a one run lead before he threw a pitch but the Tigers' juggernaut offense steamrolled through Axelrod and the rest of the White Sox staff.
Tigers starter Max Scherzer, still in search of his 20th win after four prior attempts, was again not sharp last night. Alejandro De Aza led off the game with a double and moved to third on Scherzer's wild pitch strikeout of Alexei Ramirez. Conor Gillaspie hit a sacrifice fly to bring De Aza home.
In the Tigers' half, Austin Jackson doubled and Torii Hunter walked but Axelrod retired both Miguel Cabrera (though his foul out advanced both runners) and Prince Fielder and it looked like he might just get out of the inning unscathed. Instead, Robin Ventura called for the intentional walk of Victor Martinez and the White Sox paid for it when Andy Dirks singled home Jackson and Hunter. The White Sox never saw the lead again.
The Tigers added a run in the second on a Hunter double and then piled on a four more in the third. Axelrod didn't survive the inning and the White Sox threw in the towel by bringing in Ramon Troncoso.
After Avisail Garcia punished a Scherzer hanger for his fifth home run, a two-run shot, Troncoso pitched a clean fourth. The White Sox loaded the bases in the top of the fifth but couldn't score.
Normal Troncoso service resumed in the bottom of the fifth, as he failed to catch a perfect Paul Konerko feed to let Ramon Santiago reach and the floodgates opened.
In the bizarre world of baseball scoring, Troncoso's own error meant that the two runs he gave up in the inning were unearned and then David Purcey's three runs allowed were earned runs charged to Purcey but unearned runs to the White Sox team. With a 12-3 lead, Scherzer was now sure to get #20.
The White Sox managed to get a couple runs in the eighth on a Marcus Semien sacrifice fly and a Garcia triple.