The White Sox trailed 6-3 with nobody on and four outs remaining.
Somehow, they never needed their last three.
The Detroit bullpen yielded six straight White Sox hits, including game-tying three-run homer by Melky Cabrera and the decisive single by Avisail Garcia, for a stunning collapse. Moreover, a combination of poor Detroit baserunning and strong White Sox defense prevented David Robertson from suffering his first stumble of his own.
Basically, this was a very satisfying win, after what looked like death by a thousand papercuts.
The Sox had trailed the whole game, and it looked like a lack of capitalized opportunities off Alfredo Simon would be their undoing. But Micah Johnson slashed a two-out single off Joba Chamberlain to keep the eighth inning open, and Adam Eaton's line drive to the left side rattled off of Nick Castellanos' glove to put two on.
Cabrera came to the plate, and after getting a favorable 2-1 count, turned on a slider and hit it over the wall for his first homer in a White Sox uniform, tying the game at 6.
But the Sox weren't done. Jose Abreu lined a single through the left side, and Adam LaRoche hit a softer liner for a single to center, which allowed Abreu to get to third. The game then turned to Garcia, who swung wildly over two sliders to put himself in a hole. But he took a slider wide, fouled off a slider and a fastball, took a curveball, and then got one more slider. Chamberlain was working away, and Garcia covered it, hitting a line drive to center for the go-ahead single.
After Garcia's offense put the Sox ahead in the top of the inning, Garcia's defense helped seal it.
Robertson gave up a one-out single to right by Nick Castellanos, and James McCann followed with a carbon copy. Pinch-running Andrew Romine went from first to third while Garcia zealously charged it and fired. But while he was aggressive, he also hit the cutoff man, and Alexei Ramirez turned and fired to first in time to get the careless McCann, who rounded the base too generously.
With two outs, Robertson could focus on the hitter, and he retired by getting Jose Iglesias to chop one to Micah Johnson, who thankfully made a routine play.
The comeback took Chris Sale off the hook. The Condor was in line for a deserved loss. The Tigers put a quick run on him with Rajai Davis tripled to start the game and scored on a sac fly. He bounced back by brushing with an Immaculate Inning in the second (he struck out the first two batters and had an 0-2 count on McCann for a single), but a two-run homer by Victor Martinez on an 0-2 changeup put Sale in a 3-1 hole.
The Sox figured out ways to tie it. Conor Gillaspie broke the Sox' nine-game homerless drought with a solo shot to right in the second, and #WILDPITCHOFFENSE and a Cabrera sac fly over the next two innings gave the Sox a tie game after 4.
Sale lost the battle of the shaky starters. The Tigers took the lead on a Miguel Cabrera RBI single in the fifth, and cashed in another on a Rajai Davis broken-bat fielder's choice in the sixth. Victor Martinez then beat the shift off Zach Putnam for another run-scoring base hit, which seemed to put the game out of reach.
The Tigers' offense wasn't exactly efficient about it -- they couldn't cash in a runner on third with nobody out in the fifth, and they only got one run out of a bases-loaded, one-out situation one inning later. However, they were more effective in the clutch than the Sox, who were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position through seven innings.
Then they went 2-for-3 in such situations in the eighth inning, and now they've won all four home series this season.
*Sale filled the box score, but that's better in basketball: 5⅓, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 1 WP
*While Robin Ventura survived sticking with Jeff Samardzija on Tuesday, he was burned by leaving Chris Sale in past 100 pitches in the sixth. He came out to talk to Sale before Iglesias' at-bat, and Iglesias ended up singlilng to load the bases. Ventura then lifted Sale, but that set up the run-scoring groundout.
*White Sox pitchers walked eight, but at least they struck out 11. Jake Petricka walked a tightrope with two of his own walks, but he only allowed one of three inherited runners to score in the sixth and pitched a scoreless seventh.
*White Sox hitters had another successful game with the strike zone, walking five times while striking out only thrice.
*They also ran the bases better. Alexei Ramirez stole his first base, and Johnson and Eaton executed a successful hit-and-run to set up a sac fly.
*The Sox are now 2-0 while wearing the 1983 uniforms. I assume we'll see them in the finale.
Record: 10-14 | Box score | Play-by-play | Highlights