The Detroit Tigers are finding all sorts of ways to lose as of late, and they took it up a notch with their eight straight defeat tonight.
With the bases loaded and nobody out in the 11th inning, a 1-2 fastball from Alex Wilson hit Avisail Garcia.
In the stomach.
The White Sox celebration unfolded slowly, as Garcia keeled over while catcher James McCann retrieved the ball and applied a why-not tag. Between the concern over Garcia and the Tigers raising the possibility that he swung at a pitch that hit him, Adam Eaton had to ease through a discussion between McCann and home plate umpire Laz Diaz before touching home plate in a matter-of-fact fashion.
The way the Sox sealed the win wasn't pretty, but the way they tied it up created a little more excitement. Garcia had already played hero earlier in the game, taking a Kyle Ryan pitch on the outside corner and smoking it over the wall in right, which cut the Tigers lead to 3-2 in the seventh inning.
Brad Ausmus had to scramble a little bit, but he was still able to get Joakim Soria into the game with a one-run lead. It took the form of a four-out save attempt, and Soria retired the first three with little issue.
Adam LaRoche didn't want to be the fourth out. Soria made a mistake with an 0-1 fastball -- McCann set up outside, but it moved toward the middle of the plate, and a little lower than thigh high. LaRoche put a good swing on it, and the ball just cleared the wall in right center for the game-tying shot, and the 250th homer of his career.
Nails work by the bullpen extended the game to 11 innings. Zach Putnam struck out the heart of the Detroit order in the eighth, and David Robertson struck out the side in the ninth. The well-rested Robertson also pitched a 1-2-3 10th before giving way to Jake Petricka, who survived a smoked Miguel Cabrera lineout to face the minimum himself.
Petricka picked up the victory, while Wilson failed to record an out. Adam Eaton reached when his hard grounder clanked off Cabrera's mitt for an error. He went from first to third on Alexei Ramirez's single up the middle, and an intentional walk to Abreu set the stage for Garcia's Homer Simpson job.
Bullet points for the first seven innings:
*For the first six innings, it looked like another sleepy night for the White Sox offense. Abreu scored Ramirez all the way from first with a double in the first, and Ryan didn't allow another hit until Garcia's solo shot in the seventh.
*It also looked like another tough night for Jose Quintana, who pitched respectably, allowing three runs on nine hits and two walks over seven innings. He minimized the effects of the hit column by recording two double plays and picking off Ian Kinsler, but a couple of well-placed singles to center put him behind 3-1 when he was done for the night.
*Ramirez batted second in place of Melky Cabrera, and went 2-for-4 with a walk. Cabrera hit lower than cleanup for the first time all season, but it didn't solve his problems. He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.