Chicago looked to continue its offensive outburst from yesterday with Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez on the mound. In the only meeting of the season versus Sanchez, the White Sox tagged him for nine runs in just 3⅓ innings on their way to a 12-3 victory back on April 18.
In what has been a terrific month offensively for Adam Eaton, he flexed his muscles by hitting another home run to lead off the game, giving Chicago a 1-0 lead. That shot increased his total to five on the season. Also, Eaton is the first White Sox since Alejandro De Aza to lead off a game with a home run, and the first since Kenny Lofton in 2002 to lead off a game with a home run in back-to-back days.
Jose Quintana has struggled against Detroit. With the Tigers hitting .330/.367/.521, Ian Kinsler got the offense started in the bottom frame with a single to center. Miguel Cabrera followed that up with a liner in the right center that Avisail Garcia took a bad angle on.
That allowed Kinsler to score from first base to even the game at 1.
The start of this series hasn't been kind to Jose Abreu. He had a golden sombrero yesterday, and his first at-bat against Sanchez resulted in his fifth strikeout over his last six trips to the plate. That changed in the third inning as Abreu crushed a 91-mph cutter to left-center field, kissing off the top of the fence for his 13th home run. Chicago regained the lead, 2-1.
Adventures in outfield defense continued for Chicago in the bottom of the third. Rajai Davis' liner to center field caught Eaton off-guard and he almost misplayed it.
With Davis' speed, if Eaton doesn't make that play it would have certainly gone for an inside-the-park home run. Instead, crisis averted.
Detroit tied the game at 2 in the fourth thanks to Jose Iglesias coming up with a clutch, two-out line drive that barely got over a leaping Conor Gillaspie. On replay, it did look that Gillaspie's glove got enough on the ball to slow its path to Melky Cabrera, thus giving enough time for J.D. Martinez to score.
In the bottom of the fifth, Kinsler again led it off with a single. Miguel Cabrera, already with two doubles on the night, made excellent contact off Quintana. This time, Carlos Sanchez was in the way.
Sanchez's double play ended up saving at least one run. Victor Martinez singled, and ultimate Quintana-killer Yoenis Cespedes smashed his seventh career extra-base hit off Quintana in the form of an RBI triple for a 3-2 Detroit lead.
In the top of the sixth inning, Abreu almost killed Sanchez with a line drive that stuck in his glove. Adam LaRoche continued the hard contact wit ha double to right center. To counter Cespedes' success versus Quintana, Cabrera tied the game in the top of the sixth with a run-scoring triple. Melky entered the game 14-for-27 against Sanchez, but with only one extra-base hit against the righty. With only one out, Avisail Garcia could not drive in Melky as he struck out on a high fastball and Gillaspie hit a weak chopper back to Sanchez for the final out.
Tyler Flowers continued the home run parade off Sanchez with a solo shot to start the seventh inning, giving Chicago the 4-3 lead. Even Flowers was surprised that it left the park.
With the opportunity to pick up a rare win for Quintana, Robin Ventura turned the game over to the bullpen. Of course, with Quintana's luck, Rajai Davis took a Jake Petricka sinker to the left-field bleachers for just his second home run of the year, tying the game at 4. With another no-decision, that makes it five in 2015 and 44 since 2012.
Detroit maintained their slugging ways against Chicago's bullpen, as J.D. Martinez gave the Tigers the 5-4 lead with a moonshot off Zach Duke. Unlike Flowers homer, this one wasn't cheap.
JD Martinez bomb had an exit velocity of 112 MPH. That ties for his hardest HR of the year & 3rd longest of the year— Daren Willman (@darenw) June 27, 2015
Hoping for more late-inning dramatics, Avisail Garcia pulled -- yes, pulled -- a Joakim Soria fastball down the left field line to start the ninth with a double. Substituting in for Gillaspie in the 7th, Gordon Beckham struck out swinging against Soria's 71 mph curveball. Pinch hitting for Flowers, J.B. Shuck hung with a tough 0-2 pitch and hit a chopper past Iglesias, but it wasn't hit hard enough for Garcia to get a good read, and he only moved up 90 feet to third.
With runners on the corners and one out, Carlos Sanchez had the opportunity to be a hero again. Instead of allowing Sanchez to swing away, Ventura called for the safety squeeze to tie the game. Soria threw an inside fastball that Sanchez could not get the bat head in front of the plate. The result was a soft popout to Miguel Cabrera for the second out. Eaton followed with a weak grounder to Iglesias, who stepped on second for the game-ending fielder's choice.
- Miguel Cabrera went 3-for-4, all doubles.
- Zach Duke has now allowed six home runs in 2015. That's as many he allowed in 2013 and 2014 combined.