In a disappointing season for the White Sox, this game might summarize the disappointment better than the others.
Jeff Samardzija gave up his usual first-inning run, but then he gave away a 4-1 lead thanks to a couple of homers in the sixth inning. It wasn't just the fact that he gave up six runs, but four of them scored after Samardzija had two outs and nobody on.
The sixth inning's pain was multiplied by that factor. It looked like he had the hard part over with when he got Miguel Cabrera to ground into a 6-4-3 double play, but Yoenis Cespedes came through with an opposite-field solo shot to cut the Chicago lead to 4-3. Tyler Collins then kept the inning alive with a seeing-eye single, and J.D. Martinez hit a two-run homer to center to give Detroit a 5-4 lead.
Robin Ventura added to it by letting Samardzija start the eighth for no real reason, aside from his pitch count being under 100. His location wasn't crisp and his velocity wasn't great, yet there he was, allowing an Ian Kinsler leadoff double, which came home on a productive Cabrera groundout and a single through the left side by Cespedes.
If Samardzija was the biggest bummer, the White Sox offense wasn't far behind. Over the last two days, it's as though the Times Through the Order Penalty doesn't apply to them.
It started well enough, as the Sox created their own two-out offense with a Jose Abreu single, Adam LaRoche reaching on a Cabrera error, and Avisail Garcia bringing them both home with a three-run homer to left center. The Sox tacked on another run in the second when Carlos Sanchez walked, and Adam Eaton chased him home with a line drive down the left-field line that got past a diving Collins for a triple.
The Sox failed to score again, with Simon's command improving enough to cause the Sox to lose their composure. Eaton led off the fifth with a double, but that's where he stayed. Melky Cabrera got sawed off for a popout, Abreu started the at-bat chasing and struck out on fastball in the dirt, and LaRoche's hard grounder found Miguel Cabrera for the third out.
Those three outs started a stretch of 13 consecutive hitters retired by Detroit pitching. Simon ended his day by setting down the last 12, and Joakim Soria started his afternoon with a groundout. Alexei Ramirez lined a single to right to bring the tying run to the plate, but a flyout from Conor Gillaspie and a lineout from J.B. Shuck ended it.
The Tigers came into Chicago losing seven in a row, and they ended up taking the series. It's not who you play or when you play them, apparently.
*Garcia had an action-packed day. Along with the homer, he slipped on wet grass and turned a single into a triple (see the above photo), leading to the third-inning run that should've been unearned on Samardzija's tab. He also started a 9-3 double play when Martinez forgot how many outs there were on a routine flyout, he caught his own bobble after breaking late on a ball hit over his head. Oh, and on the basepaths, he bounced past second base on a late side on an inning-ending forceout.
*Geovany Soto committed a TOOTBLAN when he was thrown out at third on Sanchez's groundout to short in the fourth inning. He later appeared to hurt his hand or wrist on a swing leading off the seventh inning, and Shuck pinch-hit for him in the ninth.
*Samardzija's ERA is now 4.93.