After spending the first 19 games more or less snakebitten by Major League Baseball's new replay system, Robin Ventura and the White Sox finally saw it work in their favor.
Two key plays went under the microscope during the White Sox's game-changing rally off Anibal Sanchez in the top of the seventh, and the call fell in their favor both times.
Jose Abreu followed Conor Gillaspie's leadoff double with one of his own -- a high, slicing fly that a sliding Torii Hunter couldn't get to. First base umpire Hal Gibson called it a fair ball and a ground rule double, as it bounced into the stands. Hunter protested the play, and with one replay showing it hitting the outside of the chalk, and another angle showing possible separation between the ball and the chalk, there wasn't conclusive evidence to overturn the call.
That allowed the Sox to tie the game at 1. Two batters later, Dayan Viciedo didn't need replay for his ringing double off the center field wall 420 feet away, but he did need it one play later. Alexei Ramirez shot a single through the left side. Viciedo rounded third with intent, but held up as Rajai Davis' throw came in from left -- and well left of catcher Alex Avila, at least from Davis' perspective.
Viciedo broke for home as the throw bounced to the screen in front of the first-base dugout. Sanchez backed up the play nicely, flipping to Avila ahead of the sliding Viciedo. CB Bucknor initially ruled Viciedo out, but Viciedo disagreed, and Ventura had his back. After an umpire review (not a challenge), the replay showed that Avila's tag missed Viciedo's front foot, which touched the plate for Avila's mitt first made contact on Viciedo's back knee.
The Sox had a 3-1 lead, and even though Paul Konerko left a run on base by popping out in foul territory, the Sox wouldn't need either insurance run. Ronald Belisario took over for John Danks with one out in the seventh and set down the next two, then pitched a scoreless eighth.
Matt Lindstrom took over from there and made it interesting with a one-out ground rule double and a walk, but he induced a flyout and a groundout for the save as the rains came in.
Through six innings, it looked like Danks might've been on the wrong end of a pitchers' duel. He minimized damage well in the second, limiting the Tigers to one run after loading the bases with a single and two walks to start the inning. From that point on, Danks retired the leadoff man in every inning after, and they never truly threatened.
Danks' line wasn't imposing (6⅓, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 1 K), but neither was Detroit's lineup, which produced a lot of quiet outs.
The same could be said for the Sox against Sanchez until the seventh. Their best chance to score in the early going came in the fourth, when Marcus Semien led off with a double. But Gillaspie lined out to first and Abreu and Adam Dunn grounded out to keep the Sox scoreless, and Sanchez retired the next six batters on 15 pitches to get through the sixth.
*Ventura lost a challenge earlier in the game when Nick Castellanos was called safe on a potential 5-6-3 putout, and the ruling was upheld.
*Second base umpire Bill Welke called a balk on Tigers reliever Ian Krol balked, and very few on the field realized it at the time.
*Semien made a couple nice plays ranging to his right.
*In case you're watching, Flowers replaced Nieto before the bullpen came in.
*Also in case you're watching, Belisario faced the Tigers' 3-4-5-6 hitters in the eighth, and Lindstrom faced the bottom of the order in the ninth.