Detroit Tigers starter Mike Pelfrey came into today's game not having earned a win since August 12th, 2015. In 10 starts, he was 0-5 with a 4.96 ERA, only 29 strikeouts to 20 walks. In 52.2 IP he had given up 73 hits in which 10 went for a home run. With the opposing pitcher being Chris Sale, the early frontrunner for the AL Cy Young, this matchup would seem incredibly one-sided.
It was, as the Tigers beat the White Sox 7-4, thanks to Pelfrey's best performance to date this 2016 season.
In the first inning, Adam Eaton singled to lead off the game which was a good sign. Since May 25th, Eaton had been 3 for 30 with eight strikeouts to just four walks. Even worse, Eaton hadn't scored a run in the last eight games. After Tyler Saladino's blooped single landing in the right field, Eaton would eventually score on a Todd Frazier single that he trampolined in front of the home plate over third baseman, Nick Castellanos head.
Mike Aviles fielded Frazier's single and caught him between first and second base. Saladino was able to advance to third base, but Frazier would be tagged out. With one out and a runner on third, Jose Abreu had an opportunity to give the Sox extra cushion for Sale. Instead, his struggles to convert with runners in scoring position continues as he grounded out to third base, not allowing Saladino to score. JB Shuck grounded out to second ending the threat.
In the bottom half, Sale struggled. With one out, Cameron Maybin and Miguel Cabrera singled, which was followed by a Victor Martinez walk to load the bases for J.D. Martinez. Recent call-up, Jason Coats, was thrust into action as he was able to run down Martinez's long fly, but the Tigers evened the score, 1-1.
The White Sox would regain the lead thanks to a lead-off triple by Eaton, his fifth of the year. Saladino's grounder was far enough away from Castellanos in the hole that allowed Eaton to speed his way home making it 2-1. That would be the last run Chicago would score against Pelfrey, who finished the day 6 IP 5 H 2 ER 3 BB 3 K.
Detroit's bats would finally wake up against Sale in the sixth inning thanks to a 2-run homer by J.D. Martinez, his 12th. Down 3-2, Sale would start the 7th inning giving up a lead-off double to Jose Iglesias. Cameron Maybin would drive Iglesias in with a one-out single, putting the Tigers ahead 4-2 and ending Sale's day. Still searching for win 10, Sale finished 6.1 IP 9 H 4 ER 2 BB 2 K, now 9-2 on the season.
With the insulting offensive performance against one of the worst pitchers in baseball, the White Sox added a scary injury in the seventh when Coats and Shuck collided in left field. On replay, Coats was seen calling for the ball but Shuck not heeding the call smashed into Coats, who had to leave the game with the aid of trainer Herm Schneider.
Like last night when the Tigers scored four runs in the eighth inning to make it a laugher, they score three runs against Matt Albers to extend the lead, 7-2. In the ninth, Eaton hit a 2-run double to score Jimmy Rollins and Avisail Garcia to finish 3-5 and a home run short of the cycle.
- White Sox have lost 17 of their last 23 games.
- Excluding the Minnesota Twins, the White Sox are 3-11 against the AL Central.
- Jimmy Rollins is now 22 for 122 against RHP.
- Jason Coats is Day-to-Day with a lacerated lip.