After a couple costly mistakes on the basepaths and a bad inning from Andre Rienzo put the White Sox on a course for one of those unremarkable losses against a better team, one Marcus Semien swing turned the tables.
Semien's seventh-inning grand slam turned a 4-2 deficit into a 6-4 lead, his third go-ahead homer in the last three innings this season. For the first time this season, Matt Lindstrom made Semien's efforts pay off, as he survived an adventuresome ninth for the save.
The White Sox loaded the bases off the Detroit bullpen with one out. Paul Konerko greeted Evan Reed with a single, and after an Alexei Ramirez lineout, Alejandro De Aza singled and Tyler Flowers walked.
With Jordan Danks coming to the plate, Brad Ausmus went to the bullpen for lefty Ian Krol. Krol hung a slider to Danks, but Danks swung under it and popped out foul for the second out. Krol remained in for Semien, but fell behind 3-1. Semien looked for a fastball over the plate, Krol complied, and his high fly to left just cleared the wall in left, giving the Sox their first lead since the fourth inning.
Ronald Belisario, who retired the last batter of the seventh, pitched a 1-2-3 eighth to get the game to Lindstrom. Lindstrom's inning wasn't nearly as smooth.
Victor Martinez led off with a seeing-eye single through the right side -- and that was Lindstrom's best sequence of the night. A warning-track flyout to center, a walk, and a deep flyout to right that moved both runners 90 feet brought Alex Avila to the plate with the platoon advantage. The Sox had the shift on, and positioning paid off. Avila hit a screamer down the line -- right to Jose Abreu for the third out.
It was a gut-wrenching ending to a gutty game, in which the Sox showed an ability to erase their own errors.
Abreu hit a no-mistaking, two-run homer to center off Drew Smyly in the first inning, and he was in a position to do more damage when he had Leury Garcia on second with one out in the third. But Garcia was thrown out at third trying to steal the bag after a bad jump, taking an RBI opportunity away from both Abreu and on-deck hitter Dayan Viciedo.
Viciedo showed why Garcia should've been kicking himself when he led off the fourth with a single, but Viciedo made his own mistake a few batters later. After moving to third on Alexei Ramirez's one-out double, Viciedo broke for home on a soft De Aza liner back up the middle. Smyly snagged it out of the air, and flipped to third for the rally-killing double play.
Rienzo made it sting more with his only off inning of the night. He walked Don Kelly to start the inning, and Miguel Cabrera followed with a single. They both advanced a base on Martinez's groundout, and both scored on J.D. Martinez's single back up the middle, tying the game.
One pitch later, Austin Jackson turned on an inner-half cutter and blasted it over the wall in left center, giving the Tigers a 4-2 lead.
Outside of that inning, though, Rienzo made a case for himself in his first start of the season. He bounced back from the Jackson homer to retire nine of the last 10 batters he faced, and allowed just seven baserunnners (five hits, two walks) over 6⅓ innings. His night ended on a fantastic play by Garcia, who charged to collect a carom off Rienzo's glove to retire Nick Castellanos. No word on whether there was an embrace in the dugout.
*Konerko had a three-hit night, and his eighth-inning double gave him the all-time franchise record for total bases with 3,950, one better than Frank Thomas.