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Tigers 3, White Sox 2: Small leads keep evaporating

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Detroit sweeps series, winning all three after trailing early

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The traditional half-watched-from-work bullet-point recap...

*The White Sox’ strategy of "hope to hold a small lead" keeps failing, perhaps because Robin Ventura tends to be reactive with his starting pitchers, rather than proactive. Chris Sale gave up a game-tying single to J.D. Martinez with two outs in the eighth inning, after he’d just struck out Victor Martinez with a runner on third.

*Then again, Ventura used his closer on the road in a tie game, and he wasn’t rewarded for that bit of action, either. David Robertson gave up a leadoff double to JaCoby Jones, who moved to third on a bunt and scored on a sac fly to cap off the Detroit sweep. "Score more runs" is probably the answer.

*Sale and Justin Verlander battled to a draw, basically. Verlander struck out lots of guys with high heat, while Sale didn’t strike out anybody over the first four innings and relied on three double plays to escape jams.

  • Sale: 8 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2ER, 4 BB, 6 K, 64 game score
  • Verlander: 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, 2 HR, 67 game score

*The Sox' entire offensive output occurred on consecutive pitches in the fourth inning. Jose Abreu pulled his hands in on a 2-2 changeup and lined it out to left for a solo shot, and Alex Avila followed by hammering a first pitch fastball over the wall in center, some 436 feet away.

*The Sox went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position. While Avila homered, he struck out in his other three at-bats, including once in the ninth inning with Abreu on second.

Record: 63-69 | Box score | Highlights